Mudslide blocks SR 20
Originally uploaded by Washington State Dept of Transportation.
On July 29th a mudslide west of Rainy Pass closed SR 20 in both directions at the east- and west-side closure gates. They had about 300 yards of mud and debris in a 10-foot-deep swath across the highway to remove, and needed to ensure the slope is stable before they reopened the road.
Where is Rainy Pass? www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Passes/NorthCas cades/map.htm.
The gates were closed on the west side just east of Diablo (milepost 134) and 14 miles west Mazama (milepost 171) on the east side. The gates were manned overnight to make sure anyone camping or hiking in between the gates could get out.
The slide was reported about 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, and responding crews began bringing in equipment and working last night. They stopped at dusk because it was too dangerous to work in the area in the dark. Crews were back early this morning. How quickly they can safely remove the debris and ensure that the slope is stabilized will determine when the highway reopens.
This area (nearly a mile high) had been hit with fast moving thunder, lightning, rain and hail storm cells all week. The slide was triggered by a thunderhead that passed through Wednesday afternoon which went on to start some 20 fires from there to Loup Loup Pass, 60 miles further east.
The road was reopened on July 30 at 3:15 p.m.
You can also check the North Cascades Web page for more information - www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Passes/NorthCascades/.