BLAINE - A hunk of shoreline property near a man's home fell from an embankment and into Semiahmoo Bay late Tuesday, Jan. 8.
About 2 inches of rainfall flooded a ditch and maxed out a drainage pipe that goes out to the bay in the 8600 block of Semiahmoo Parkway. County workers threw sandbags along the road, but the effort couldn't stop an estimated 50-by-80-foot piece of the bluff - where the piping from a culvert sticks out - from sliding away.
"Water was absolutely rocketing out of the pipe, going five or six feet before even dropping down," said neighbor Steve Halpin.
The nearest house was a few dozen feet away, so it wasn't damaged. But residents said it's another scary sign for the integrity of the shoreline.
Halpin blames overzealous logging to the east where, more than a decade ago, the dense trees once kept water from flooding the drainage system. Since 2003, three landslides have eroded residential property at a row of houses leased out by the state Department of Natural Resources.
Rob Janicki, who has run the logging operation since fall, said he understands the residents' frustration. He said some of the logging profits - amounting to "six figures" - have been pledged toward fixing the drainage problems.
"When an adjacent landowner makes the issue worse, we feel the need to fix that," he said.
The solution is still in the works by Janicki's engineers, but he expects it will mean larger, more effective piping that takes the water all the way out to the bay, rather than just to the very edge of the bluff. About 50,000 trees also are expected to be replanted in the former woods to the east.
Those projects won't start until the wet season is over.