Thursday, August 18, 2022
Aug. 18, 2022

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I-84 closed between Troutdale and Hood River due to landslides

Highway 14 closed to freight traffic on Washington side of Gorge for more than 12 hours

By , Columbian Web Editor
Published:
7 Photos
A landslide has closed Interstate 84 between Troutdate and Hood River in both directions.
A landslide has closed Interstate 84 between Troutdate and Hood River in both directions. (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office) Photo Gallery

SEATTLE — The latest storm to hit the Pacific Northwest brought flood warnings, the shutdown of a major mountain pass, school closures and icy roads Thursday.

A landslide closed Interstate 84 in both directions between Troutdale and Hood River in Oregon on Thursday morning.

Due to excessive rainfall and rapid snowmelt, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, several landslides occurred in the Columbia River Gorge.

The closure on I-84, between mileposts 17 and 62, was complicated by a jackknifed truck at Milepost 53 in the eastbound lanes. The westbound lanes later reopened, but the eastbound lanes remained shut from Troutdale to Cascade Locks Thursday evening with no estimated reopening time set.

The landslide, which struck between mileposts 36 and 37, also closed Frontage Road east of Dodson near the Elowah Falls trailhead, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

Another landslide on I-84 was reported Thursday afternoon in the same area.

The Historic Columbia River Highway 30 was closed east from Larch Mountain Road in Corbett.

School closures

At least a dozen school districts were closed on both sides of the Gorge, from Stevenson-Carson east to Goldendale. Washougal schools operated as normal, but some bus routes were affected.

Highway 14 affected

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, state Highway 14 was closed in both directions to vehicles more than 10,000 GVW from 32nd Street to Milepost 65 near Hood River Bridge Road. WSDOT said commercial truck traffic should use an alternate route or delay travel. The highway reopened shortly before 8 p.m.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office warned that more debris flows in the Gorge were possible and residents in landslide-prone areas should be aware of the potential danger.

“Active land movement is life threatening and may continue throughout this current weather system,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Heavy snow

In Eastern Oregon, OR 334 was closed Thursday by heavily drifting snow.

Travelers need to be prepared for delays caused by high water, rising rivers, downed trees or slides, according to ODOT. Consider packing a bag with supplies like water, food, a charged phone and other necessities that might be needed in a lengthy closure.

Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass in Washington’s Cascade mountains was closed Thursday due to high avalanche danger, zero visibility, and blowing, drifting snow. Stevens Pass on U.S. 2, White Pass on U.S. 12 and Blewett Pass on U.S. 97 were also closed Thursday.

Flooding

Heavy rain and snowmelt brought flooding concerns in Western Washington and Oregon as the latest atmospheric river moved into the region. Flood advisories were in place Thursday and a flood watch extended through today.

BNSF reported a landslide south of Centralia that prompted a 48-hour stoppage of train service between Portland and Seattle. Buses were being sourced to replace the trains.

Major flooding was expected along sections of the Newaukum and Skookumchuck rivers in Lewis and Thurston counties, the National Weather Service warned. Mason County was urging residents Thursday in the Skokomish Valley area to either evacuate or shelter-in-place for several days as flooding and road closures were expected.

Residents near the Chehalis River were told to prepare to evacuate because of expected major flooding starting Thursday afternoon.

Snow at higher elevations was expected to turn to rain as the day progresses, adding to flooding concerns.

In Central Washington, the National Weather Service said Yakima could get 6 to 8 inches of snow through 4 p.m. today, while Ellensburg may see up to a foot.

Steve Bodnar, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Spokane, said Wenatchee could receive 20 inches of snow Thursday, with nearby Leavenworth receiving 22.5 inches.

At least 4 inches of snow fell early Thursday in Spokane, and the snow was expected to turn to freezing rain by Thursday afternoon, the Weather Service said.

Numerous school districts in Spokane County and other counties around the state canceled classes Thursday, while others delayed the start of classes.

The heavy snow made it hazardous to drive, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Ryan Senger in Spokane.

“If you don’t have to go to work or you don’t have to be out on the roads, try not to be,” Senger said.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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