More rain is expected to fall Thursday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory that will be in effect until early Friday morning.
“An additional quarter- to one-half-inch of rainfall is expected tonight and Thursday,” the weather service said on Wednesday afternoon, urging drivers to watch out for water on the road and homeowners to look for possible flooding.
The rain – on top of snow and ice – is creating a sloppy mess. Crews were out in force Wednesday plowing slush and opening storm drains following Tuesday night’s ice and snow storm and the subsequent meltdown.
The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures above freezing in the middle 30s to lower 40s through Sunday.
Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass was closed Wednesday as crews worked to clear up slides and debris on the freeway. Dozens of trees fell Tuesday night in the ice storm and led “to unstable slope conditions along the highway,” the state Department of Transportation said. Crews were to evaluate conditions Thursday to see if they could begin clearing the road and reopen the pass.
U.S. Highway 2 over Stevens Pass and U.S. Highway 12 over White Pass remained open.
Roads in the Spokane area turned into a mix of slush and ice Wednesday morning. As the day wore on, heavy runoff and plugged drains created another hazard.
The city had 25 pieces of plowing and de-icing equipment clearing city streets Wednesday, said Mark Serbousek, director of Spokane Streets Department.
Serbousek said road crews and employees of the city’s sewer and water departments were trying to clear storm drains to ease flooding. “Hopefully the citizens work with us and try to open them up,” he said.
County officials asked for the same help.
Streets in downtown Spokane were particularly slippery from heavier icefall Wednesday morning while the North Side had a layer of fresh snow to help provide traction over the ice. Washington State Patrol troopers responded to nearly 100 crashes Tuesday night into Wednesday, Trooper Jeff Sevigney said.
The University of Idaho, Washington State University and Eastern Washington University all closed their main campuses because of road conditions Wednesday. Washington State University-Spokane was delayed by two hours.
Spokane International Airport reopened its runway Wednesday morning after ice forced a closure and diversion of flights.
The closure resulted in backups and delays on Wednesday, said airport CEO Larry Krauter.
“The airlines are recovering,” Krauter said. “A lot of those diverted flights will be coming in this morning.”
People can check the status of their flight on the airport’s website.
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