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Flooding impacts continue in Pacific Northwest

Sections of state routes remain closed; more rain coming

Landslide on U.S. Highway 101 in Mason County, Washington, Mar. 1, 2022. (Photo: WSDOT)

Roads remain closed in parts of the Northwest due to recent flooding.

Constant flow of atmospheric moisture off the Pacific into the Northwest has drenched the region since Sunday, resulting in high water, mudslides and landslides. Similar issues could arise in southern British Columbia as well.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the following areas remain shut down:

• WA-112 (mudslide): Closed in both directions in the Clallam Bay area, between mileposts 15.8 and 32. Detours are in place via Eagle Crest Way and U.S. Highway 101.
• WA-131 (high water): Closed in both directions from milepost 0 near U.S. Highway 12 to milepost 1 near Woods Way.
• WA-302 (flood-damaged pavement): Closed in both directions at milepost 4.5 near the Mason-Pierce County line. The road is closed to through traffic.

Several National Weather Service reporting stations received daily record rain Monday, totaling around 3 inches in some cases. Seattle was drenched with 4.58 inches during the last three days of February, more than the city normally sees for the whole month. The NWS still has flood watches and warnings posted in the region.

An additional inch of rain is possible Wednesday in portions of the Northwest, from Seattle to southern Oregon, as well as portions of the Cascades and northern Rockies in Idaho and western Montana. A few spots could see up to 2 inches before the storm moves farther inland later in the week. Some of the highest elevations in the Northern Rockies will also see snow and freezing rain.

Truckers may run into new road closures as the rain soaks and weakens the ground, producing runoff, localized floods and potentially more landslides or mudslides.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 from Medford, Oregon, to Seattle.
• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Missoula, Montana.
• Interstate 84 from Portland to La Grange, Oregon.
• U.S. Highway 101 from Olympia, Washington, to the Washington-Oregon border.
• Trans-Canada Highway from Vancouver to Hope, British Columbia.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.