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Jan. 16, 2022

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Multiple crashes on I-205 south cause long delays, traffic backups

I-5, Highway 14 slow due to rain, crashes, stalled vehicle

By , Columbian Web Editor
3 Photos
A crash on southbound Interstate 205, midspan on the bridge, was among the traffic issues on Friday morning.
A crash on southbound Interstate 205, midspan on the bridge, was among the traffic issues on Friday morning. Photo Gallery

An early morning crash forced the closure of the onramp from state Highway 14 to Interstate 205 south on Friday — the first of a series of crashes that slowed traffic all over the county

The crash was reported around 5 a.m. What looked like building materials — reportedly from a tractor-trailer that lost its load — were spilled into the roadway and median. The onramp had to be closed for the cleanup. There was no word on injuries or further details on the crash. The onramp had reopened by noon.

An 8 a.m. crash midspan on I-205 had traffic stacked north of state Highway 500.

A third multi-vehicle crash, again southbound on the I-205 bridge, was reported at 8:45 a.m. The Vancouver Fire Department was called to aid the response from Oregon. All lanes were blocked for emergency crews midspan, though the traffic backup initially delayed response. No details about injuries in the midspan crashes were immediately available.

C-Tran reported delays on routes 37 and 65. Eventually Route 37 was detoured because of issues on surface streets relating to the I-205 crashes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted about 9:15 a.m. that the various crashes were delaying traffic and that drivers heading to Portland should expect “LONG delays.”

Traffic on I-205 south remained slow at noon.

Water in roadways

The I-205 crashes weren’t the only issues causing traffic delays during the Friday morning commute.

A stalled vehicle blocking the right lane on the I-5 Bridge heading into Portland contributed to already slow traffic. The back up reached Hazel Dell by 9:30 a.m.

Water over the road on Interstate 5 south near the 78th Street onramp had the left lane blocked around 8 a.m., according to WSDOT. And a collision slowed both east and westbound traffic on state Highway 14 near Ellsworth Street.

Traffic on state Highway 14 west was backed up for miles due to slowing on Interstate 5. Traffic on the west side of Vancouver remained slow at noon.

Reports of clogged storm drains and water in the streets came from all  over the county.

Clark County and southwest Washington through the I-5 corridor in Cowlitz County remain in a flood watch through tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Portland. “Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Street flooding and flooding of creeks and rivers are possible.”

Clark Public Utilities reported periodic outages around the county starting Thursday night. Around 8:40 a.m. Friday, about 55 customers lost power in the Salmon Creek area, with another outage north of Ireland in east Clark County. According the the website, some 1,700 customers had recently had power restored. To report an outage,  call PowerLine at 360-992-8000 or visit