Heavy rain brings mudslides to Wash. state

Hoquiam neighborhood evacuated due to landslide danger

January 7, 2015

Heavy rain caused a string of mudslides in western Washington on Monday, including one that forced emergency crews to rescue an elderly woman and her dog by cutting a hole in her roof.

More than 5 inches of rain fell in a 24-hour period, and water levels rose quickly. Roads had to be closed due to the floodwaters, and though there were no serious injuries, widespread flooding was reported from Centralia to the Snoqualmie Valley farther north.

The rain had subsided by Monday night, but river levels were expected to sty high for days, and the threat of mudslides lingers.

Parts of the state remained under a flood warning Tuesday after a mudslide left one Hoquiam neighborhood almost cut off. Mudslides from a waterlogged hillside washed out the foundations of three homes, threatened others and forced the precautionary evacuation of about 60 nursing home residents, authorities said.

Most rivers were expected to crest Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

About 200 people were trapped in the Beacon Hill neighborhood with only a narrow logging road connecting them to the outside world. Officials planned to use a pilot car Tuesday to lead convoys out, and police said the neighborhood could remain isolated for three or four days..

Washington, with heavy winter rains and steep hillsides, many of them heavily logged, is prone to mudslides. The Oso slide in March 2014 buried a square mile under mud and debris, killing 43 people and blocking the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.

King 5 meteorologist Rich Marriott says the weather should before showers return Friday and Saturday, with increasing rain on Sunday.

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