Flooding creates state of emergency in the Northwest
November 16, 2021
•Land Line Staff
Days of heavy wind and rain has created a dire situation in northern Washington State.
Search and rescue missions in Whatcom County were being conducted, and emergency shelters were organized as recently as Monday night, while mudslides have closed Interstate 5, along with numerous other roadways, further compounding the situation.
“I am extremely proud of our deputies, along with members from other agencies and search and rescue volunteers who continue to work long hours to rescue our community members,” Whatcom County Sheriff, Bill Elfo, said in a sheriff’s office news release.
— Trooper Rocky Oliphant (@wspd7pio) November 15, 2021
As the situation remains dangerous with flooding still a major concern, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a severe weather state of emergency in 14 counties due to the extensive flooding, road closures, power outages and other damages.
Monday also saw the closure of the U.S. 101 Elwha River Bridge in Clallam County because of high flood waters. Before it’s reopened, the Washington State Department of Transportation must first determine if flood water and debris have eroded the support structure, said a WSDOT news release.
🚧‼️The US 101 Elwha River Bridge near #PortAngeles remains CLOSED until further notice due to high waters.
There is no detour for this closure because there are also closures on SR 112 due to standing water or slides nearby. Our crews will reopen once it’s safe to do so. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ULuaUh7umf
— WSDOT Tacoma (@wsdot_tacoma) November 16, 2021
Residents near the Skagit River, which reached 32 feet on Monday, were urged to take action through a city of Mount Vernon news release. A new flood stage record is expected on Tuesday, said the National River Forecast Center.
However, some good news came with the opening just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday of the southbound lanes of I-5 at Bellingham, Wash.
A map of the latest road conditions and closures can be found on the WSDOT website.
Land Line will continue to update this situation as information becomes available. LL