Northwest braces for more rain after day of drama

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

1 killed by tree; storms drench Pacific Northwest.

FALL CITY, Wash. (AP) — While much of the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday got a respite from rains that have pummeled the region for days, mudslides and flooding rivers triggered multiple rescues and claimed the life of a woman after her car became submerged northwest of Portland, Oregon. Next door neighbor Sam Choumxay, whose bedroom window faces the woman’s home, said he watched in horror as the tree fell onto his neighbor’s house with a thud. That beats the previous Dec. 8 record of 1.61 inches Someone called 911 around 6:30 a.m. to report that people were in the river up to their waists and chests beneath the State Route 512 overpass, The News Tribune newspaper reported ( To the north, in Fall City, resident Eric West said flooding is typical for the Snoqualmie Valley, but this year seems to be a little worse, with three or four floods. “Times are changing,” West said. “Through the summer, we had the driest summer on record and now we’re making up for all the rain we missed in the summer time.” Officials with Puget Sound Energy say power was restored to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in western Washington on Wednesday.

Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency after days of hazardous weather with landslides, power outages and flooding of roadways, homes and property. The declaration also directs the Washington Military Department to coordinate state response activities and can be used to activate the Washington National Guard if necessary. Washington transportation officials closed all lanes of northbound Interstate 5, the state’s busiest highway, in an area about 30 miles north of Portland Wednesday afternoon due to a slide that brought rocks and mud onto the road. A small RV park near the Puyallup River in Washington state was evacuated on Wednesday morning as floodwaters stranded several recreational vehicles and small cars.

Sheriff’s deputies said they rescued several people from their homes in the area Tuesday night and early Wednesday after river flooding trapped them inside. Officials were also trying to figure out how to repair massive sinkholes that opened up on Monday — one in front of Mount Hood Community College in Gresham and another on Highway 22 in Yamhill County.

The National Weather Service in Seattle said in a tweet Wednesday night that the 5.96 inches of rain recorded at Sea-Tac this month makes it the wettest first nine days in December on record. The flooded park was just down the river from the area where seven people in a riverbank homeless camp were swept into the water and later rescued Wednesday morning.

Heavy damage from flooding led officials in Tillamook County to declare an emergency to free up funds for repairs, County Commission Chair Tim Josi said. “It’s more than our county budget can handle,” Josi said, estimating that damage will top $1 million. Spokeswoman Summer Derrey says crews are waiting for safe conditions Wednesday before going in to assess the damage and determine how to make repairs.

Several Washington state school districts are either closed or getting late starts Wednesday because of a rain and wind storm that is starting to subside. Warren) A Columbia County Sheriff drives through a low point on the road while others line up to go through, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, in Portland, Or.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says landslides and high water have closed parts of many state highways. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola) This is the Weather Underground forecast for Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, for the United States.

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