Clark County's water year about 10 inches below normal

By Eric Florip October 1, 2014 5:27 p.m.

Despite recent rains, the 2014 water year ended this week with a sizable precipitation deficit in Clark County.

States granted extension on CRC funding

By Eric Florip September 30, 2014 6:54 p.m.

At the request of Washington and Oregon, the Federal Highway Administration has granted a five-year extension on the money it doled out for the now defunct Columbia River Crossing project.

N.D. regulators consider oil stabilization policy  

By Eric Florip September 26, 2014 7:05 p.m.

Most Clark County residents don't pay close attention to the North Dakota Industrial Commission. But the three-member regulatory body has the authority to influence something increasingly familiar to Southwest Washington and the Northwest: oil trains.

Mount St. Helens came back to life a decade ago

By Eric Florip September 25, 2014 7:41 p.m.

On a late-September weekend in 2004, Seth Moran received a phone call while mowing his lawn. It was about Mount St. Helens, which only days earlier had caught scientists' attention with a swarm of shallow earthquakes.

What's Up with That? State had purpose for curved overpass

By Eric Florip and Scott Hewitt September 24, 2014 6 a.m.

Now that the Northeast 139th Street overpass is completed and open, you can really notice how curved it is rather than straight. On Google Maps, the road on both sides of the interstates (I-5 and I-205) seems to be in perfect alignment. Why did the designers curve the overpass slightly to the south rather than just build it directly with no curve?

Salmon slip, slide on wild ride in 'cannon'  

By Eric Florip September 23, 2014 6:05 p.m.

WASHOUGAL — It's known as the "salmon cannon," but Vincent Bryan III has another way of describing the latest technology being used to move migratory fish in Washington.

Drivers getting used to new Salmon Creek Interchange

By Eric Florip September 22, 2014 7:06 p.m.

Almost a month after the opening of a new freeway interchange at Northeast 139th Street, traffic patterns in the Salmon Creek area still appear to be in flux as thousands of drivers feel out the new setup.

Development plan riles Washougal neighbors

By Eric Florip September 22, 2014 6 a.m.

A planned tree-clearing and development on a 40-acre wooded property outside Washougal has some neighbors worried about damage to what they call a "critical" habitat — and the character of their rural setting.

Punctured tank spills diesel on BNSF tracks near Pasco

By Eric Florip September 19, 2014 1:48 p.m.

A large rock on BNSF Railway’s tracks in eastern Washington punctured an engine’s fuel tank and spilled diesel near the Columbia River on Friday, according to the state Department of Ecology.

Borders vacancy vexes east Vancouver neighborhood

By Eric Florip September 17, 2014 6 a.m.

When the Borders bookstore in east Vancouver closed in 2011, it left an unmistakable void in one of the city's busiest commercial areas.

State Highway 502 hits expansion milestone

By Eric Florip September 15, 2014 6 a.m.

The ongoing expansion of state Highway 502 between Interstate 5 and Battle Ground marked a milestone recently as crews began paving a stretch of the roadway, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Judge: C-Tran veto rule invalid if board changes

By Eric Florip September 12, 2014 6:20 p.m.

The veto power written into the C-Tran Board of Directors’ bylaws could be in jeopardy if the makeup of the board changes, following a Clark County judge’s ruling Friday.

White Salmon wildfire 80 percent contained

By Eric Florip September 12, 2014 1:13 p.m.

A wildfire burning near White Salmon was 80 percent contained as of this afternoon, but continues to create potential hazards and slowing on state Highway 14 in the Columbia River, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

C-Tran hones downtown BRT design

By Eric Florip September 11, 2014 8:59 p.m.

As Andrew Buckner looked over concept images of a planned bus rapid transit station in downtown Vancouver, one detail stood out.

C-Tran approves new labor contract with drivers

By Eric Florip September 9, 2014 8:25 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a new labor contract with its largest employee group, ending a negotiation process that lasted two years.

Transportation plan draft hits the road

By Eric Florip September 6, 2014 5:59 p.m.

In 20 years, a larger economy and a larger population figure to put an even bigger strain on Washington's highways, roads and rails. An ongoing update to a statewide transportation plan aims to help answer the question: How will the state's already-aging infrastructure keep up?

Clark County's warm summer brings bountiful harvests

By Eric Florip September 5, 2014 7:06 p.m.

Vancouver's warmest summer on record has brought good news to local farmers.

Bridge in Brush Prairie: Flood zone of concern

By Eric Florip and Tyler Graf September 1, 2014 6 a.m.

Planned upgrades to a county bridge in Brush Prairie have at least one family worried that the job ignores the real problem of flooding, and could make it worse.

Biomass project nets $200k state grant

By Eric Florip August 27, 2014 5:37 p.m.

A $200,000 state grant will support a new biomass-fueled power plant near Stevenson expected to be operational next year, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday. The money will go to Wind River Biomass Utility, which has pursued the project will local, state and federal partners.

Leaders celebrate completion of Salmon Creek project

By Eric Florip August 27, 2014 7:17 p.m.

Seventeen years after planning began, state transportation officials and local leaders celebrated the end of the $133 million Salmon Creek Interchange Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

BNSF executive: Oil train safety can improve  

By Eric Florip August 26, 2014 8:16 p.m.

As questions continue to swirl about the safety of transporting crude oil by rail, BNSF Railway’s top executive acknowledged Tuesday that the process can be safer, and said his company welcomes the regulatory push toward more modern tank cars.

Vancouver Lake group ponders merger

By Eric Florip August 23, 2014 4:38 p.m.

The Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership plans to explore joining forces with another organization as the group rethinks its role in supporting its namesake ecosystem.

Analysis: Oil terminal could have $2 billion impact

By Eric Florip August 22, 2014 12:15 p.m.

A proposed oil transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver could generate an estimated $2 billion in “economic value” to the local and regional economy, and 176 permanent on-site jobs once the facility is fully operational, according to a new analysis released today.

Vancouver oil terminal effort given new name

By Aaron Corvin and Eric Florip August 20, 2014 5:58 p.m.

The two companies proposing to build the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail transfer terminal at the Port of Vancouver plan to release a new economic analysis of the project during an invitation-only event Friday. Meanwhile, Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies are calling their joint venture by a new name: Vancouver Energy.

Getting a piece of the Bakken pie

By Eric Florip August 18, 2014 6 a.m.

WILLISTON, N.D. — Just off Highway 1804, a high grassy slope offers a sweeping view of the epicenter of North Dakota's oil boom.

Salmon Creek interchange scheduled to open Aug. 27

By Eric Florip August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

The wait is over: At the end of this month, drivers will have their first chance to use the new freeway interchange at Northeast 139th Street in Salmon Creek.

Bakken oil boom echoes in Clark County

By Eric Florip August 17, 2014 6 a.m.

On a rare day off, Chris Piche reached into the bed of his pickup truck and pulled out a small plastic container holding his livelihood. The former Battle Ground resident opened it and poured its contents into an empty water bottle. The thin, dark orange-tinted liquid, about the consistency of water, flowed in as yellow bubbles formed on top. He held it up under the bright sunlight for a better view. “That’s crude oil,” Piche said.

Hoops along rim of the park

By Eric Florip August 16, 2014 7:32 p.m.

The view was different, but the return of Hoops on the River on Saturday brought some familiar faces to downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver man dies, five others hurt, in morning crash

By Mark Bowder and Eric Florip August 16, 2014 6:09 p.m.

One person was killed and five others injured early Saturday in what the Washington State Patrol is calling an alcohol-involved rollover crash on Interstate 205.

Labor group resolution praises CRC effort

By Eric Florip August 15, 2014 7:25 p.m.

A local labor group on Friday passed a resolution expressing gratitude to hundreds of individuals and organizations that worked on the defunct Columbia River Crossing project.

C-Tran seeks to revisit TriMet contract

By Eric Florip August 12, 2014 10:20 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of Directors on Tuesday directed its staff to reach out to TriMet and revisit a controversial light-rail contract the two agencies signed last year.

C-Tran takes electric bus for extended test drive

By Eric Florip August 12, 2014 6 a.m.

An extended test drive this month will give some C-Tran riders a look at an all-electric bus.

Off Beat: Ross Complex lab on the grid, now on media's radar

By Eric Florip August 11, 2014 10 a.m.

When The Columbian featured Vancouver's Ross Complex substation in an article last December, the story described a high-voltage laboratory there as "little-known."

Bridge idea lacks Vancouver City Council's support

By Eric Florip and Stephanie Rice July 28, 2014 9:58 p.m.

A newly unveiled proposal to build a bridge across the Columbia River at Southeast 192nd Avenue doesn't have the necessary support from the Vancouver City Council.

Gorge panel raises oil, coal concerns

By Eric Florip July 18, 2014 10:05 p.m.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission this week raised a host of concerns about the transport of coal and oil by rail through the Gorge.

Project will conserve 9,000 acres near Klickitat River

By Eric Florip July 15, 2014 6 a.m.

When a huge swath of forestland along the Klickitat River is formally secured for conservation by next year, it won't just be environmental advocates celebrating.

Extended heat wave to stick to region

By Eric Florip July 11, 2014 8:42 p.m.

An extended heat wave starting Saturday is expected to bring a run of several consecutive 90-degree days to the region, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Extended heat wave moves in today

By Eric Florip July 11, 2014 10:26 a.m.

An extended heat wave starting today is expected bring a string of several consecutive 90-degree days to the region, according to the National Weather Service in Portland.

Volunteers target highway graffiti

By Eric Florip July 10, 2014 6 a.m.

When Cindy Franke sees graffiti along Interstate 5, she doesn't call to report it. She doesn't wait for someone else to take care of it.

C-Tran allocates $6.7 million for BRT line

By Eric Florip July 8, 2014 10:56 p.m.

The C-Tran Board of Directors on Tuesday authorized spending $6.7 million in local funds for a bus rapid transit system in Vancouver, clearing the way for the project to secure a crucial federal grant and begin construction as early as next year.

Mount St. Helens drilling foes claim victory

By Eric Florip July 8, 2014 6 a.m.

An environmental group fighting a proposed drilling operation near Mount St. Helens declared victory Monday after a federal judge in Oregon found earlier review and approval of the proposal to be deficient.

New Highway 502 taking shape

By Eric Florip July 7, 2014 8:21 p.m.

They may have seen it in plans already, but now motorists can see it in plain sight: They'll be driving a very different state Highway 502 between Interstate 5 and Battle Ground once crews finish expanding the corridor.

C-Tran board poised to act on BRT

By Eric Florip July 5, 2014 4:53 p.m.

More than three years after C-Tran first floated a proposed bus rapid transit system in Vancouver, the agency's board of directors could make the project all but a done deal on Tuesday.

Cottonwood Island fire fully contained

By Eric Florip July 3, 2014 11:10 a.m.

A small fire that started Wednesday on an uninhabited island on the Columbia River was fully contained this morning, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Holiday street closures and detours planned

By Eric Florip July 3, 2014 6 a.m.

If you're among the tens of thousands of people expected to descend on the Fort Vancouver National Site for Friday's Fourth of July celebration, don't expect to snag a prime parking spot and stroll right in just as the fireworks start.

Police apprehend armed-robbery suspect in Camas

By Eric Florip and Emily Gillespie July 2, 2014 10:02 p.m.

Police arrested a Washougal man after a robbery injured a clerk at a Camas convenience store Wednesday.

Vancouver temperature hits 98

By Eric Florip July 1, 2014 6 p.m.

A one-day heat wave pushed temperatures into the upper 90s today in Clark County and elsewhere.

Gorge commission preps funding pitch

By Eric Florip June 29, 2014 6 a.m.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission is no stranger to tight budgets. The bistate agency has for years operated with limited cash and a bare-bones staff now equal to just six full-time employees.

Recent rainfall no match for early-season deficit

By Eric Florip June 27, 2014 7:36 p.m.

Friday's rainfall ensured that June will be the fifth straight month of above-normal precipitation in Vancouver.

Tanker car carrying asphalt derails in Vancouver

By Eric Florip June 27, 2014 11:35 a.m.

A single tanker car carrying 25,000 gallons of asphalt product derailed and tipped onto its side Friday morning in a Vancouver rail yard, according to BNSF Railway.