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Record rain floods parts of Northwest

More road closures possible next 2 days

(Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A persistent atmospheric river of moisture off the Pacific has been flowing into the Northwest since the weekend. Periods of heavy rain have flooded roads and resulted in closures due to landslides.

A section of U.S. Highway 101, about 25 miles northwest of Olympia, Washington, remains closed in both directions due to a landslide. This is according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Portions of state and local roads are also closed due to high water or slides, as well as at least one Interstate 5 ramp.

Several cities in Washington and Oregon were drenched Monday with daily record rain amounts, ranging from 1.66 inches in Portland to 2.97 in Seattle and 3.12 in Olympia. In the past two days, some places have seen as much rain as they would for the entire month of February. Even some high elevations like Snoqualmie and Stevens passes saw 5 to 7 inches from Sunday through Monday.

Periods of relentless rain will continue Tuesday and Wednesday, mainly in western portions of Washington and Oregon. However, persistent rain may also spread into northern Idaho and western Montana. Look for more potential flooding, landslides and road closures along I-5, U.S. 101 and secondary routes.

Major lanes of concern

• Interstate 5 from Medford, Oregon, to Seattle.
• Interstate 90 from Seattle to Butte, Montana.
• Interstate 84 from Portland to Baker City, Oregon.
• U.S. Highway 101 from Olympia 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.