SEATTLE – Avalanches and mudslides closed a major highway overnight and blocked Amtrak train service Monday amid the latest in a series of storms that have drenched the Northwest since December.
The storm that hit on Sunday also knocked out power and phone service in northwest Oregon.
Interstate 90, Washington state's main east-west artery, was closed Sunday evening by two snowslides in the area of 3,022-foot Snoqualmie Pass. A 72-mile stretch of the interstate remained shut down until late Monday morning, the state Transportation Department said. No injuries were reported.
Nearly 40 inches of snow fell at the pass in four days.
Mudslides during the night north of Seattle halted Amtrak passenger service and Sounder commuter trains between Seattle and Everett, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad spokesman Gus Melonas said. That affected service from Portland, Ore., to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Passenger service won't resume until at least Wednesday because of a 48-hour minimum slide closure restriction, Sound Transit and Amtrak officials said. Local commuter service remained in operation between Seattle and Tacoma.
The Northwest is dealing with an unusually wet winter. Earlier this month, Olympia set a record with 35 consecutive days of measurable rainfall, two days more than the old mark set in 1953. On Monday, the city reported 2.8 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Rail traffic has been disrupted repeatedly this month by mudslides along the steep slopes lining Puget Sound north and south of Seattle.