ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Snow and rain continued to fall across the Pacific Northwest on Friday, causing flooding and closing portions of Washington state’s two major highways – Interstate 90 and Interstate 5.
The major route across Washington’s Cascades — I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass — closed Thursday due to avalanche danger, heavy snow and low visibility. Stevens Pass on U.S. 2, White Pass on U.S. 12 and Blewett Pass on U.S. 97 also closed Thursday.
Transportation officials say the four mountain passes that connect Western Washington with Eastern Washington likely would remain closed until Sunday due to dangerous conditions.
In Lewis County, Washington, a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 was closed in both directions south of Chehalis due to rising flood water from the Chehalis River.
On Friday, parts of downtown Issaquah, Washington, were closed after Issaquah Creek sent water over the roads. At least one apartment building was evacuated after the creek spilled over its banks and into the parking lot under the complex.
The city of Warrenton, Washington, declared a state of emergency Thursday, due to flooding, which forced several street closures.
People in Issaquah worked through the night into early Friday to grab sandbags and place them to prevent waters from Issaquah Creek from flooding their homes and property.
The creek was expected to crest sometime Friday morning as a cold front sweeps through and pushes the precipitation east.
Dozens of watches and warnings were in effect in Washington and Oregon, including a flood warning for the northern Oregon Coast following huge amounts of rainfall.
The National Weather Service said Hoquiam, Washington, received 5.78 inches of rain Thursday — an all-time record. Other areas saw nearly half of the rain they’d expect to see for the month of January in one day, according to the weather service.
Forecasters say the rains should subside over the weekend.
In Oregon, Interstate 84 reopened after a landslide closed almost 50 miles of the highway from Troutdale to Hood River on Thursday. The Oregon Department of Transportation warns there may still be slides in the area on Friday, and crews are continuing to clean up.
A flash flood watch is in effect now for the Columbia River Gorge and more snow is expected later in the day. Officials also expect smaller landslides throughout Friday.
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