Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rising water closes I-5 in Lewis county

I-5 was closed this evening at 6:00 p.m. We originally planned on closing it around midnight tonight, however, because of the amount of water over the highway it was closed earlier than anticipated. We will have crews standing in the rain all night monitoring the rising waters.

At the moment there are no north-south routes available between Seattle and Portland. All three major east-west mountain pass highways through the Cascade Mountains remain closed due to extreme avalanche danger and mudslides. These passes are not expected to open until crews have safe access to the highways and can assess the avalanche danger and inspect the roadways. The priority for tomorrow will be opening I-90.

Word is that the rain will be lighter tomorrow, however, rivers will continue to rise.

16 comments:

Jim Bunker said...

Thanks, Wayne. I was planning a trip up I-5 tomorrow but looks like it won't happen. I had to make a decision tonight and your website and blog gave me up to date (up to the minute) information. Stay safe.
Jim Bunker
Vancouver

Anonymous said...

i was kinda peeved about the state closing the highway i had just went northbound and then 5 mins later southbound was closed and i know there was more time that could have waited. but now i suppose this storm will make gas prices go up also.

lulunoel said...

we have to get to my father's funeral in corvallis by saturday. what can we do? help!!

Anonymous said...

Where will all the south bound traffic end up with the closure? Will Southbound I-5 become a parking lot for semi-trucks?

What kind of delays can be expected for someone living in the Grand Mound/Rochester area who is trying to get home using Southbound I-5 to get to exit 88, where the closure begins?

Wayne Dyck said...

@lulunoel The only way you could likely guarantee getting there would be to fly. We have no idea when I-5 is going to open. Our first priority tomorrow is opening I-90 which would provide a alternate, if not long, detour route.

Wayne Dyck said...

@anonymous re: parking lot for semi-trucks - Parking is not allowed on I-5. We have advised freight carriers traveling on I-5 to exit the interstate if they are planning to park and wait out the flooding.

Unfortunately, we have no way to predict the southbound delays on I-5 once it is opened. It depends on many factors including the volume of people attempting to travel south.

Wayne Dyck said...

@anonymous re: closing of I-5 - Sorry about that, but, it's all about safety. We originally planned that I-5 would be closed around midnight, however, the water coming over the highway prompted us to close it earlier.

Wayne Dyck said...

Jim Bunker - Thanks, Jim. We want to provide folks with information that allows them to make informed decisions whether to travel or not. Sorry you won't be able to make your trip up, however, I'm glad you didn't venture out first.

Cheers.

Kathryn said...

Gee Wayne, apparently some folks think that it's all a conspiracy when WSDOT has to close the roads. Thanks for the information, fortunately, I can telecommute from Lewis CO to Oly... so I can work AND watch the rain from the comfort of my PJ's. :)

Anonymous said...

What are the chances of the 5 opening before the weekend?

Anonymous said...

How long is I-5 expected to be closed? a day? 2 days? a week? what are we looking at here?

Gary said...

The photos on Flickr are amazing. Hard to believe there is that much water.

Over here in the Tri-Cities we feel left out of all your weather updates (and glad of it).

PS. Might want to add Flickr to your sidebar links

Jeremy Bertrand said...

Until the river crests we really don't know. Once it crests we can get a better idea. Last year it was closed for about four days, we certainly hope the closure isn't that long this year but can only wait and see. As of right now it is scheduled to crest at 10pm Thursday night, but those predictions have been off before.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you closed the highway earlier than expected. Last year there were a lot of travelers were caught in the known flood area and had to be rescued by the Sled and other boats.
Shutting off the highway sooner keeps rescue resources focused on residents instead of travelers.

Great job...thanks for the info too.

Anonymous said...

Any update on when I-90 will open we are about 5 hours south and need to get to Vancouver BC. Do you think they will have it open today.

Anonymous said...

I know we don't know when I-5 will open, but where and how do we find out if an alternate has been found?
Thanks!

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