WOODLAND, Wash. — Washington state officials say it could be hours before a single lane is reopened on Interstate 5 after the freeway was swamped by a massive landslide triggered by days of pounding rain.
Some trucks have been stranded since Wednesday afternoon in southwest Washington about 26 miles north of Portland, Oregon. A shelter has been set up for stranded motorists at Woodland High School.
The Washington Department of Transportation says there’s no estimate for when it can reopen northbound lanes of Interstate 5 — the state’s busiest roadway — near Woodland as rain soaks the already drenched Pacific Northwest.
The department said Thursday morning it’s working to get one lane open.
Northwest storms continue
Rain again hit storm-ravaged western Oregon but the National Weather Service says it wasn’t strong enough to cause river levels to rise.
Meteorologist Jon Bonk said Thursday that cities from Portland to the coast got two-tenths to a half-inch of rain overnight, and river levels should remain flat or recede.
A parade of storms this week caused flooding, landslides and power outages.
Showers are in the forecast through the weekend, but Bonk says the region is out of the woods because the major storm has shifted south into California.
One concern, however, is the possibility of thunderstorms accompanied by wind gusts and perhaps hail. That could cause problems for those trying to restore power and cleanup flood damage.