Mercer Island residents evacuated due to landslide risk have been allowed to return

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Just before 7 p.m. Thursday Mercer Island residents evacuated Wednesday night due to risk of a landslide were told they could return to their homes.

Residents in 20 homes near 95th Court Southeast were told there was risk of a landslide because a leaking underground water pipe that had made the soil unstable.

Residents who live downstream of the leak were told to immediately leave their homes until further notice.

“Because of the risk, we made the decision last night to evacuate about 20 homes,” said Jessi Bon, Mercer Island city manager.

According to the Mercer Island Emergency Management webpage, “City crews were able to isolate a section of pipe that restricts water flow in the affected area, mitigating the risk of property damage if the water main were to break.”

Seattle Public Utilities owns and maintains the 24-inch high-pressure water pipe. SPU has hired a contractor to assess the slope and come up with a repair.