Seattle (AP) The forecast for Washington state may be for drier weather. But it will be days before floodwaters recede, roads reopen and everyone who evacuated can return home.
More than 30,000 people were urged to leave their flood-endangered western Washington homes as swollen rivers, mudslides and avalanches engulfed neighborhoods and roadways.
Rising waters led state highway crews to close a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 around Chehalis on Wednesday evening. The state’s three major east-west routes across the Cascade Mountains also were closed by avalanches and the threat of more slides.
Highway Officials hope to reopen one main east-west route sometime today.
In Oregon, high winds toppled trees along U.S. 26, forcing the highway’s closure and stranding some motorists while crews worked to clear the road.
In Alaska, extreme cold temperatures have grounded planes, disabled cars, frozen water pipes and even canceled several championship cross country ski races.