Crews to clear highway stormwater drain in Aberdeen, buried in January flooding

(Washington State Department of Transportation)

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is using a break in inclement weather to hire contractors to clear a drain flowing under US-12 near Aberdeen, clogged during flooding in late December.

WSDOT says the flooding, which submerged parts of Grays Harbor County in early January, was followed by weeks of problematic weather that made it difficult to clear debris.

Eastbound US-12 will be reduced to one lane for a week near Karjala Road, beginning Jan. 26, as crews clear a culvert buried 30 feet below trees, plants and earth swept down by flooding. The three-foot by four-foot culvert is designed to help stormwater flow underneath the Olympic Highway, but has been clogged for the better part of a month.

Before WSDOT can even begin repairs or evaluation, contractors will need to dig out the culvert, stabilize the hillside, rebuild the embankment, remove the debris and check the stormwater systems.

WSDOT says the total cost is estimated around $525,000, but note the price could climb if additional damage is found.

Several counties have received federal funding after flooding swept through Western Washington, and WSDOT says the state is seeking more aid for these repairs.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Grays Harbor County under flood watch through the weekend

RELATED: Federal funding approved for some counties impacted by November floods

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