Roads closed due to flooding, slides after heavy rain hits Western Washington

Several local roads and highways are closed Tuesday after heavy rain caused flooding and multiple slides.

The National Weather Service had issued a flood warning for more than a dozen western Washington rivers as heavy rainfall continued. All the rain had led to saturated grounds, which has increased landslide risks.

Transportation officials have reported several closures due to flooding and landslides.

King County

Westbound I-90, just west of Preston, had water over the roadway at about 7:30 a.m.

In Seattle, all northbound and southbound lanes of Rainier Avenue South were blocked from 57th Avenue South to Cornell Avenue South due to a slide. 

At about 8:30 a.m., Trooper Rick Johnson said northbound State Route 203 and eastbound State Route 202 was closed at the 202/203 roundabout because of water over the roadway. 

Tolt River near Fall City Carnation Road NE is flooded out. Do not try and drive through it. 

Lewis County

After 7 a.m., a stretch of State Route 7 in both directions between Coal Creek in Lewis County and Elbe in Pierce County was closed due to water over the roadway. It’s unknown when the roadway will reopen. 

Mason County

In Mason County, US 101 was closed north of Shelton because of a slide on Monday night. Trees and part of a hillside came down on the roadway. 

Crews reopened the road at 3:54 p.m. Tuesday, clearing the debris in the morning and afternoon.

Pierce County

Crews had to close part of SR 7, west of Eatonville, because of an overnight slide. Drivers are advised to take SR 161 to get around the closure. 

A section of SR 162 between Orting and South Prairie in Pierce County was closed before 8 a.m. because of water over the roadway. 

Crews are working to clear Marine View Dr. It is expected to be reopened on March 2. The latest updates can be found here

Roads are closed at the 3500 Blk of East Pioneer due to a fallen tree. The road will remain closed until tree debris is cleared.

The rain came after an unusually dry January, but was unlikely to help lift the region out of a drought because most of the moisture fell as rain and not snow even at higher elevations. Warmer temperatures that came with the so-called atmospheric river are also melting existing snow, authorities said.

Mountain snowpack that melts in the spring is critical for forestalling drought conditions in the lowlands.

"Basically, all of this precipitation is falling as rain below 6 or 7,000 feet and so it’s not actually really adding any snowpack," National Weather Service Meteorologist Colby Neuman told Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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