Tree falls across northbound Interstate 5

Motorists help clear debris until all lanes reopen nearly an hour later

By Craig Brown, Columbian Metro Editor and Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith



A tree fell across all the lanes of northbound Interstate 5 north of the Clark C Fairgrounds on Wednesday afternoon, blocking all three lanes for about 45 minutes.

The tree fell about 4 p.m. at milepost 11, near the Gee Creek Rest Area north of the fairgrounds and south of Ridgefield. Motorists stuck on the interstate got out of their vehicles and hauled debris to the side of the road, said Trooper Will Finn, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol. Other vehicles slowly drove on the left shoulder around the tree.

While en route to the downed tree, troopers were dispatched to a rear-end collision at milepost 10, a result of the long backup.

A crew with the Washington State Department of Transportation arrived with chain saws and cleared the tree from the roadway. Though the tree blocked all three lanes of traffic, the trunk was only about 14 inches in diameter, Finn said.

There was no damage to vehicles or injuries reported, but it took nearly an hour to clear the tree from the roadway.

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