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Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state

 
Earth420
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01/30/2006 04:48 PM

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Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
[link to seattletimes.nwsource.com]

Monday, January 30, 2006

Interstate 90 was temporarily closed because of avalanches, mudslides snarled rail traffic between Portland, and Vancouver, B.C., and flood warnings were issued for much of western Washington state early today.

Landslides also closed two lesser state highways and hampered traffic on others in the latest round of transportation snarls in an unusually wet winter even for a region well-known for drippy weather.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings today for the Chehalis, Skookumchuck, Satsop, Skokomish and Deschutes rivers, and an urban and small-stream flood advisories were in effect for the lowlands around Puget Sound and in southwest Washington. Severe flooding was not expected.

A heavy snow warning was issued for the Cascade Range above 2,500 feet elevation, including all highway passes, through tonight.

Earlier this month Olympia set a record with 35 consecutive days of measurable rainfall, two days more than the old mark set in 1953, and Seattle came within six days of its rainy-day record of 27, also set in 1933.

I-90, the state's main east-west artery, was closed at 5:40 p.m. PST Sunday because of two snow slides, at Milepost 51, a few miles west of 3,022-foot Snoqualmie Pass, and the other east of the pass at Milepost 58. A 72-mile stretch of highway was closed until about 10:30 a.m. today.

U.S. 2 to the north remained open but was subject to intermittent closures for avalanche control. Less heavily traveled U.S. 12 to the south also was open.

About four mudslides overnight north of Seattle blocked trains on one of two sets of tracks, halting Amtrak passenger service and Sounder commuter trains between Seattle and Everett, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad spokesman Gus Melonas said.

Freight trains were operating on the unaffected line, but passenger and commuter rail service cannot resume before Wednesday morning trains under a 48-hour minimum slide closure restriction, Sound Transit and Amtrak officials said.

For Amtrak, the closure halted Seattle-Bellingham and Seattle-Vancouver, B.C, Empire Builder trains that normally run between Seattle and Chicago were operating normally east of Everett.




Four other slides, including one that covered both sets of tracks for a time, occurred overnight in the Nisqually and Steilacoom areas south of Tacoma, Melonas said.

Commuter train service between Seattle and Tacoma remained in operation, and freight train service was set to resume as debris was removed from the tracks in the Nisqually area before daybreak, he added.

Buses were used to carry commuter and Amtrak passengers around the slide areas.

Rail traffic has been disrupted repeatedly this month by mudslides along the steep slopes lining Puget Sound north and south of Seattle.

Elsewhere, a mudslide early today closed Washington 302 east of Washington 3 near the north end of Case Inlet in Mason County, and a landslide closed Washington 166 in Port Orchard.

Other slides resulted in lane closures on Interstate 5 north of the Nisqually River and Washington 507 near Bucoda in south Thurston County.

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Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
Anonymous Coward
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01/30/2006 05:46 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
" A 72-mile stretch of highway was closed until about 10:30 a.m. today."

That's a long stretch of highway! Imagine a 72- mile blocked highway near you! Oh, my!
.
an nonymous
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01/30/2006 05:48 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
Even worse in the Seattle area. Their roads don't go anywhere, anyway. You either go North or South and that's what's blocked.

East is into the Mountains and very limited and West is ~ well, you gotta find your way across the bay, and it's not easy.

Good luck getting around Seattle.
too much rain and snow
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01/30/2006 05:55 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
Dang.

I have some friends in downtown Seattle that have their basement flooded at the moment. Bummer...I'm thinking about the black mold that quickly grows up here. I hate it for them, but on the otherhand, I'm risking my own roof caving-in due to heavy snowfall on the eastern slopes of the Cascade mountains.

I have almost 4 feet of snow in my front yard and we are expecting more snow tomorrow night. Moderate snow they say, which means a foot where I live.

:(

(I have 10 foot piles of snow where we have plowed it from the driveway!)
Earth420 (OP)

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01/30/2006 07:40 PM

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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
They had some record rain and it just keeps on for them...


*sigh*


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Anonymous Coward
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01/30/2006 07:57 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
too much rain and snow
User ID: 63424
----------------------
hey i'm headed that way soon....where are you that has that much snow? sisters? near mt hood? Brietenbush?
RBH

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01/30/2006 08:14 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
cow

My yard has never been as flooded and wet in all the time I have lived here.

I have suspisions about the rock slides on I-90 with it being flanked by Rainer.

cow
Anonymous Coward
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01/30/2006 09:27 PM
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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
hmmmm....that whole area is kind of isolated now. It would really suck if something bad happened in that area. Nothing coming out and nothing going in (at least by rail or road).

Seems kind of coincidental that all this happened at the same time. I mean, it rains in Seattle all the time, right?

This should not be anything unanticipated.
Earth420 (OP)

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01/31/2006 02:10 PM

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Re: Slides block Interstate 90, other roads, rail lines in Washington state
New article with some of the same info but more on yesterday there...

[link to seattletimes.nwsource.com]

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wet-weather woes won't let up

The weekend's wet winter weather carried into Monday, wreaking havoc along area rivers, roads and rail lines.

Despite showing some signs of improvement over the weekend, the Stillaguamish River rose again Monday, flooding a couple of outlying buildings near Oso, Snohomish County, according to the county's Department of Emergency Management.

A landslide last week blocked the river's north fork, creating the threat of flooding to some small, older homes in the rural Steelhead community east of Oso.

Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass reopened Monday morning after a 16-hour closure of a 72-mile stretch between North Bend and Ellensburg.

The closures were caused by two avalanches on Sunday that followed nearly 40 inches of snowfall over the past four days.

Heavy rainfall in the area Monday added to the weight of the snow and made opening the highway difficult, according to a state Department of Transportation report.

Sounder commuter-rail service between Everett and Seattle was canceled again Monday because of a mudslide. The passenger trains will not run today either.

Another small mudslide early Monday afternoon blocked the westbound lane of Highway 202 between Redmond and Fall City. Traffic was detoured around the slide until the road reopened at 5:30 p.m.

King County activated its Flood Warning Center at 8:30 a.m. Monday to monitor minor flooding on the Tolt River. Heavy rainfall over the weekend in some portions of King County raised the Tolt to Phase II flood-warning stage.

Rains also caused flooding on area streets. Crews in Bothell on Monday were able to get traffic moving on one flooded main street by bringing in a pump.

In Snohomish County, part of South Lake Stevens Road flooded and was closed, as was a portion of Ash Way in Lynnwood.

The National Weather Service was predicting continued rain and wind for Seattle throughout most of the week.

Flood levels on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish near Oso were expected to decline slightly Monday night, but forecasters were debating whether to issue a new flood warning, given the impending rain.

Peace
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