State emergency officials say that they may have to close Interstate 5, the main north-south freeway linking Western Washington, “within the next few hours.”
“There is potential for the freeway to be closed prior to the conclusion of this afternoon’s rush hour,” said a statement from the state’s emergency operations center. The area they’re concerned about: near Fife, north of the Puyallup River Bridge. (Possible workarounds for drivers: SR 167 and 512.)
The state is using computer models, river gauges and state troopers on the scene to monitor river levels.
“It is not clear how long the freeway and surrounding areas will be under water,” the statement says. “Once the water recedes it will be necessary for engineers to check the roadbed for safety and make any needed repairs before reopening.”
Major highway road closures reported include SR 106, SR 410, SR 539, SR 9, SR 546, SR 202, SR 162, SR 112, SR 165, SR 10, SR 8 and SR 20 due to mudslides, water over roadway, roadcuts and safety concerns.