Bye Bye Snow, Hello Flooding!

Category: News. Written by Grant 

Apparently, Seattle residents aren’t safe yet from the weather patterns that have left three separate snow storms in the past month and now a torrent of rain. In fact, email alerts from the Department of Transportation have been flooding our inbox today with various road closures.

Here are a list of road closures and updates we have received from WSDOT Traffic Alerts:

4:00pm – Stevens Pass, WA – US 2 has reopened to traffic after a two day closure caused by flooding and avalanche danger. The pass reopened at XX p.m. today, making it the only viable east-west route across the state.

The Washington State Department of Transportation expects this route will be heavily used by drivers trying to get across the mountain passes.

WSDOT has taken several steps to make sure traffic moves as smoothly as possible:

Three Incident Response Teams will be stationed from Monroe, across the summit and to Leavenworth to quickly respond to stalls, collisions and motorists in need of assistance.
We have coordinated signal timing through Monroe to improve the flow of traffic
Traction tires are required for passenger vehicles
Chains are required for trucks over 10,000 lbs
I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass and US 12 at White Pass remain closed until further notice.

3:50pm – All lanes of SR 530 are now open at the Lincoln Bridge near Arlington.
3:30pm – Flooding response in high gear, WSDOT closes in on opening US 2 east to Wenatchee
3:20pm – All lanes in both directions of US 2 west of Skykomish at milepost 44.3 are now open. Stevens Pass remains closed.
2:35pm – The right lane of northbound SR 169 from 140th Ave SE to the Cedar River is closed due to flooding.
9:35am – Both directions of SR 9 are closed between Schloman Rd and 252nd.north of Arlington.
9:00am – The ramp from SR 530 to northbound I-5 is closed due to water over the roadway.
7:15am – The southbound I-405 ramp to SR 181/Interurban Ave is closed due to a mudslide on Interurban Ave.
6:30am – SR 203 closed in Carnation between the Tolt River and NE Carnation Farm Road. SR 203 is also closed between Duvall and Monroe. Both closures are due to water over the roadway.
5:00am – The ramp from SR 530 to northbound I-5 is closed due to water over the roadway
4:35am – All lanes of SR 542 at Truck Rd near Deming are blocked by a mudslide and downed power lines.
4:05am – Both directions of US 2 are closed west of Skykomish at milepost 44.3 because of water over the roadway.
4:00am – SR 530 is closed in both directions at Lincoln Bridge because of water over the roadway.
2:00am – SR 169 near Maple Valley, all lanes closed

For up-to-date road information, call 511 or for out of state callers, dial 1-800-695-ROAD (7623).

WSDOT has released this regarding the closers:

State highway closures top 60

OLYMPIA – Transportation officials are dealing with a large weather system that resulted in more than 60 road closures in Washington in the last 12 hours. While WSDOT is keeping close watch on the potential for Pierce County flooding over I-5, experts expect portions of I-5 will go under water in Lewis County some time this evening.

If the current pattern of rising water continues, WSDOT is expecting to close I-5 in Lewis County around midnight tonight. The closure points would span 20 miles from exit 88 near the Lewis/Thurston county border south to exit 68, the US 12 interchange connecting with Morton and White Pass. WSDOT crews are monitoring the entire corridor and will immediately take the necessary measures to close the road if it becomes unsafe for vehicles.

Flooding in the Fife area could require the closure of I-5 in the area north of the Puyallup River Bridge. Precise timing is difficult to predict, but there is potential for the freeway to be closed prior to the conclusion of this afternoon’s rush hour.

Alternate routes are limited, with State Routes 167 and 512 being the most likely options for drivers. WSP and WSDOT are still determining the appropriate closure points.

All three major east-west mountain pass highways through the Cascade Mountains remain closed due to extreme avalanche danger and mudslides. These passes are not expected to open until crews have safe access to these highways and can assess avalanche danger and inspect roadways. WSDOT has pulled our crews back from working on Interstate 90 from MP 47 (Denny Creek) to MP 53 near the summit. This unexpected slide points out the serious risk to both highway workers and the traveling public along mountainous I-90, as well as other routes around the state. Until the rain lets up and soil conditions stabilize, I-90 will remain closed from North Bend to Ellensburg.

Please drive safe out there Seattle residents. If you see washed out road in front, do not attempt to cross and try to find alternate routes. Even one foot of moving water is enough to stall your vehicle or push your car aside.

*Article photo used with permission from the WSDOT

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