1 disappeared in the floods of the Pacific Northwest, slides
At least one person was missing and presumed dead as snow turned to rain and flooded the Pacific Northwest on Friday, causing flooding, landslides and avalanche danger in the mountains.
A 72-year-old man never returned after leaving his residence to move his car to higher ground Friday morning west of Olympia, Wash., In Cosmopolis, according to Deputy Sheriff Brad Johansson of Grays Harbor.
The man’s residence was on a flooded road and authorities fear his vehicle was washed away by floodwaters on a steep bank next to his driveway, Johansson said.
Snow and rain forced the closure of parts of Washington state‘s two major freeways – Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 – with flooding that also inundated roads in western Washington and Oregon.
In Lewis County, southwest Washington, a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 had been closed in both directions south of Chehalis due to flooding from the Chehalis River. All lanes of Interstate 5 in this area reopened Friday afternoon.
The main road through the Washington Cascades – I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass – was closed Thursday due to avalanche danger, heavy snowfall and poor visibility. Stevens Pass on US 2, White Pass on US 12 and Blewett Pass on US 97 also closed on Thursday.
Transportation officials said the four mountain passes that connect western Washington to eastern Washington would likely remain closed until Sunday due to unsafe conditions.
And part of one of the only other roads crossing the state, State Route 14 on the Washington side of the Columbia River, was closed for several hours on Friday due to a fatal accident near Lyle, Finn said.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation on Friday due to severe winter storms dating back to December 17. State agencies and local jurisdictions coordinate resources to remedy damage to property and infrastructure, assess storm damage and implement repairs, he said. .
Washington State University canceled classes Monday and Tuesday to give students ample time to return to Pullman in eastern Washington after the harsh winter, officials said on the website. university.
Near Stevens Pass, northeast of Seattle, the city of Leavenworth declared a state of emergency and called for National Guard help after the 36-inch snowfall fell in 24 hours.
City leaders are concerned about the weight of snow on buildings and homes, KCPQ-TV reported.
In Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood, firefighters responded to a house that slipped into the hillside. Live video from KING-TV appeared to show crews rescuing one person and working to put out a fire just outside the house.
A man trapped in the basement of the house has been extricated, according to Seattle firefighters. A woman escaped on her own as a dog died and another went missing, firefighters said.
Dozens of watches and warnings were in effect in Washington and Oregon, including a flood warning for the north Oregon coast following massive rainfall.
The National Weather Service said Hoquiam, Wash., In Grays County, received a record 5.78 inches (14.68 centimeters) of rain on Thursday. Other areas have seen nearly half of the rain they would expect to see in January in one day, according to the weather service.
Southwest Washington experienced its worst flooding in a decade, and some rivers peaked over 18 feet (5.5 meters) on Thursday night, the National Weather Service said.
East of Seattle on Friday, parts of downtown Issaquah were closed after Issaquah Creek sprayed water on the roads. Some houses were flooded and at least one apartment building was evacuated, KIRO-TV reported.
In Centralia and around Thurston County, streets were flooded on Friday and members of the Washington National Guard were helping fill out sandbags and other requests, the guard said on Twitter. On Friday, around 50 people had sought refuge at a site in Centralia, according to the American Red Cross.
In northwest Washington state, snow fell in Bellingham while roads flooded across Whatcom County. According to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, unusually high tides and winds were causing coastal flooding around homes in Birch Bay. Tidal flooding from homes and businesses has also affected towns, including Edison and University Place.
In northwestern Oregon, coastal flooding after heavy rains disrupted communities. Astoria received more than four inches of rain on Thursday, breaking a rain record on that date set in 1914.
The neighboring town of Warrenton declared a state of emergency due to widespread flooding and the school districts of Astoria, Warrenton, Knappa and Seaside canceled classes on Friday.
In Oregon, Interstate 84 reopened after a landslide closed nearly 50 miles of the highway from Troutdale to Hood River on Thursday.
Forecasters say rains are expected to ease over the weekend, but landslides will continue to be a risk until Saturday as soils remain saturated.