SEATTLE -- After a week of snow and heavy rains, landslides were covering roads around Seattle Thursday while in Spokane County a state of emergency was declared for flooding and washed out roadways.
The westbound lanes of Interstate 90 were closed early Thursday after a mudslide covered the road east of Seattle in Issaquah. All lanes reopened Thursday afternoon.
Trees, rocks and mud came down from a hillside on I-90 at about 4:45 a.m. near the Highpoint Way exit Thursday, disabling as many as a dozen vehicles, CBS affiliate KIRO reports. One car was high-centered on a rock, according to the State Patrol. No injuries were reported.
Mud was a few inches in some places and a little deeper in others. Large rocks and one or two trees were across the road. After clearing debris, the Washington State Department of Transportation reopened the left lane. According to a WSDOT spokesman, the slide was caused by a combination of last week’s heavy snow melt, heavy rain over the past 36 hours and a water source somewhere above the slide area.
Commuter trains into Seattle also were canceled due to slides while a slide near Renton blocked part of Maple Valley Highway near Interstate 405.
The National Weather Service in Seattle says over 7 inches of rain has fallen so far in the Seattle area this month. Typically in February the city gets just under 2 inches.
Spokane Public Works officials have closed several roads around the county due to washouts, and the Spokane County Commissioners declared a state of emergency due to the road issues, CBS affiliate KREM reports.
In nearby Adams County, a driver got caught as a section of Lind Warden Road washed out and the SUV was sent about 15 feet down into rushing water, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
The driver acted quickly, freeing himself and escaping unharmed before his Chevy Blazer was swept away, the sheriff’s office said.
A flood warning was issued for the Spokane region Thursday by the National Weather Service.
Mitch Reister, engineer and director of the Spokane County Public Works Department, estimated repairs to the roads there would be about $200,000, the Spokesman-Review reported.
Heavy rain across the region flooded many local streets in Oregon as well and caused landslides that blocked traffic, CBS affiliate KOIN reports.