SEATTLE — Rain, snow and flooding continued to cause problems in parts of Washington and Oregon, with several major roadways closed following more than a week of severe winter weather.
In Oregon, some travelers remained stranded on I-84 in the Columbia River Gorge early Wednesday afternoon — some 11 hours after authorities closed the highway’s westbound lanes.
While some of the stuck vehicles had been cleared, authorities were still trying to get the road fully reopened. The work has been hampered by the need to move jackknifed tractor-trailers and break up ice and snow covering the interstate.
“This is a very, very serious situation out there right now,” Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Don Hamilton told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Authorities were bringing food and water, as well as gas, to stranded travelers.
The areas of around Portland, Oregon, and southwest Washington saw flooded roadways after several inches of rain fell across the region in 24 hours.
In Western Washington about 12,000 Puget Sound Energy customers remained without power Wednesday and many schools stayed closed for the third day this week. The main east-west highway in Washington — I-90 — was closed for a second day across Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains because of avalanche danger, leaving tractor-trailers to park and wait.
State transportation officials said Wednesday that the interstate’s eastbound lanes across the pass would reopen at 4 p.m. and that officials would be allowing groups through by meter.
Snow remained an issue for some communities. The town of North Bend declared a state of emergency because it was dealing with several feet of snow. The declaration by the mayor allows the city to call in additional resources.
The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for areas including Olympia, Seattle, Everett, Port Angeles warning that excessive runoff from melting snow could cause flooding of creeks, streams, highways streets and underpasses.
The Weather Service was also continuing to alert Western Washington residents about a heightened threat of landslides, tree damage, power outages and roofs collapsing.
Roofs on mobile homes, outbuildings and carports around Puget Sound have collapsed this week due to heavy snow, KCPQ-TV reported. An 85-year-old man in Sequim was injured Monday when his home’s roof came down, pinning his leg to the ground. Northeast of Seattle in Monroe, heavy snow collapsed the roof at a recently built water filtration plant run by the city of Everett.
WSP shows extremely windy conditions for drivers and troopers last night at I-90 at MP 34. Pass remains closed tonight. Video for use as needed by all media outlets. @wspd2pio pic.twitter.com/ehNGmye0gG
— David Rose (@DavidRoseQ13FOX) February 13, 2019