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Washington governor declares state of emergency after storms

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency after days of hazardous weather with landslides, power outages and flooding of roadways, homes and property.

The proclamation covers the series of storms that began Nov. 30 and are continuing.

Inslee says some of the most severe flooding in Washington has occurred in three counties to the north and south of Seattle.

The declaration also directs the Washington Military Department to coordinate state response activities and can be used to activate the Washington National Guard if necessary.

A falling tree killed a woman Wednesday morning inside her home in Portland.

CBS affiliate KOIN reported that several landslides were reported north of Kalama River Road on Wednesday. One landslide wiped out a residence and trapped the homeowner. Dispatch operators said the man was pinned against a wall by rocks and debris.

He was rescued and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The rain is expected to intensify this week.

Overnight, heavy rains pounded the region. In Kalama, severe flooding left much of the city underwater, triggering landslides and forcing several rescues, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reported.

"A lot of the houses had water that was rushing from the hills," one man told KOIN. "Some of the cars were almost tire-deep."

The Washington Department of Transportation has closed all lanes of northbound Interstate 5, the state's busiest highway, in an area about 30 miles north of Portland due to a slide that brought rocks and mud onto the road.

Cleanup will begin once officials have determined it is safe. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.

A small RV park near the Puyallup River in Washington state was evacuated on Wednesday morning as floodwaters stranded several recreational vehicles and small cars.

Firefighters went vehicle-to-vehicle to make sure everyone was safe and some people were evacuated by boat. The camp was a temporary home for several dozen RVs and camper-trailers.

The flooded park was just down the river from the area where seven people in a riverbank homeless camp were swept into the water and later rescued Wednesday morning.

The owner of the RV park, Kevin McLeod, hooked up a pump midday to try to move water out of the park and back into the river.

Millions in Northwest drenched by floods

A landslide in Portland pushed trees and mud toward cars and forced the closure of U.S. Highway 30.

People in the Northwest kept a wary eye on rising rivers and faced another messy morning commute as rain and wind kept up the onslaught.

Officials advised residents in affected areas to avoid traveling and to watch for flash floods, mudslides, falling trees and power outages and to avoid driving through high water.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department also issued a beach safety alert on Tuesday for coast visitors, as strong winds and extremely high waves are in the forecast. A high wind warning remains in effect until early Wednesday morning, with gusts on beaches and headlands potentially reaching up to 70 mph, the National Weather Service reports.

The service predicts waves could break on shore at up to 40 feet high - higher than a two-story building - tossing logs and debris on shore. Already, several beach areas have been closed because of flooding and winds. A flood watch is also in effect on the central coast through Thursday.

The heavy rains didn't stop the Portland Timbers' victory parade celebrating the team's MLS Cup championship.

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