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Storm damages Washington highways, brings mudslides

Sat., Sept. 7, 2013

Work crews examine a large sinkhole near the intersection of South 96th Street and Eighth Avenue South in Burien, Wash., on Friday.
Work crews examine a large sinkhole near the intersection of South 96th Street and Eighth Avenue South in Burien, Wash., on Friday.

SEATTLE – A storm that dumped heavy rain on Washington state left damaged roads, a nearly 8-foot-high mudslide and overflowing sewers.

Residents across Washington woke up Friday morning to inspect the storm’s damage.

One road in unincorporated King County collapsed, creating a sinkhole.

Crews northwest of Yakima were working to clear a nearly 8-foot-high mudslide that closed state Highway 410 in the southern Cascades, the Washington state Department of Transportation said.

Rain-caused mudslides in several locations also closed a 24-mile section of the North Cascades Highway, transportation officials said. That closure was expected to last through the weekend. No injuries were reported.

In Everett, city officials said 12 sewer outfalls overflowed into the Snohomish River and Port Gardner Bay. They said water quality at the outfall locations was being tested, but warned residents to stay away from those areas for the time being.

The storm triggered a massive mud and rock slide Thursday night in the remote community of Stehekin at the north end of Lake Chelan in north-central Washington, national park officials said.

A number of vehicles in a long-term parking area and at the mouth of Imus Creek were buried, a North Cascades National Park Complex statement said. No one was hurt.

Many bicycles from a bike shop were damaged or washed into the lake and a log cabin office for a fly-fishing shop was surrounded by mud and rocks, the statement said.

In Lakewood, near Tacoma, a narcotics-detection dog chewed his way out of the kennel at his handler’s home and ran away, presumably scared by lightning.

The dog named Duke apparently wandered into a woman’s backyard, Lakewood Lt. Chris Lawler said Friday. The woman recognized the dog from news coverage of his breakout, called him by name and he responded. She kept him until police picked him up.

The rain came in fast and heavy on Thursday. Lewis County in southwest Washington got some of the highest readings, hovering around 4 inches. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport measured 1.7 inches over 48 hours, National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg said.

One rough estimate counted about 5,900 lightning strikes in Western Washington, Burg said.


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