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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

January 5, 2015 at 5:50 AM

Hoquiam neighborhood evacuated due to landslide danger

State Highway 4 is washed out between Highway 101 and Highway 401. (Photo by Washington State Department of Transportation)

State Highway 4 is washed out between Highway 101 and Highway 401. (Photo by Washington State Department of Transportation)

The Associated Press

UPDATED, 2:30 p.m. | Nearly 200 people in Hoquiam are cut off after a landslide blocked the only road out of the area, according to reports from KING5.

The landslide occurred on Beacon Hill Drive and it could remain blocked for days, city officials say.

The Coast Guard is on stand-by in case of a medical emergency and someone needs to be airlifted out, KING5 reports.

UPDATED, 2 p.m. | HOQUIAM — A weekend storm blasted parts of western Washington with torrential rain that caused landslides and flooding, including in one neighborhood in Hoquiam where water washed out the foundations of three homes, threatened others and forced the evacuation of about 60 nursing home residents, authorities said.

Police urged residents to leave their homes along an eight-block stretch of Queets Avenue at the base of Beacon Hill because of the danger that the whole bluff could give way, Police Chief Jeff Meyers said Monday.

There was no exact number of evacuations, and no injuries have been reported. The nursing home was evacuated as a precaution, he said.

Streets are flooded throughout the Aberdeen-Hoquiam area near the Washington coast, which took the brunt of the storm. About 6 inches or rain was reported at Bowerman Airport in Hoquiam.

Office building owner Gordon West arrived too late with a truck loaded with sandbags at his building on South I Street in Aberdeen. Water was already a foot deep in and around the building.

“If I ran the pump now I would just be pumping water in a circle,” he said Monday.

Many Aberdeen streets were closed by standing water.

Landslides have closed Highway 101 in two places and also block Highway 12 and Highway 107 in the area, the Transportation Department said.

An additional 1 to 2 inches of rain were forecast Monday across western Washington. Although the downpours were expected to ease Tuesday, the landslide danger will linger for several days on bluffs and steep hillsides, the weather service said.

Four to 9 inches of rain fell on the southwest slopes of the Olympics, and 2 to 5 inches on the west slopes of the Cascades. Another inch or 2 was expected Monday in the mountains.

The heavy rain prompted flood warnings on the Stillaguamish, Snoqualmie and Newaukum rivers and a flood watch for many other rivers in the western Washington.

Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott said a dozen inmates of the juvenile detention facility on the banks of the Chehalis River in Aberdeen were moved to the county jail as a precaution. They would be moved back Monday afternoon, he said.

Flooding threatened the water treatment plant for the Naselle Youth Camp, a correctional facility operated by the state Department of Social and Health Services, said Mark Stewart, a spokesman for the state Emergency Operations Center.

The storm dropped snow over the weekend in the mountains and higher elevations in eastern Washington. It turned to rain at lower elevations, including Spokane, Monday as temperatures rose above freezing.

In Hoquiam, the homes at the bottom of the Beacon Hill bluff have always been a problematic area, Meyers said, but this is the worst he’s seen in nine years.

Emergency responders are having a hard time moving around because of street flooding and the closure of main highways because of landslides.

Schools in Aberdeen and Hoquiam are closed, and residents were urged to stay home except for emergencies.

Related: Heavy rains cause flooding, slides and road closures in Western Washington

Photos: Flooding in Hoquiam, Snoqualmie and other areas

Comments | More in General news, Weather Beat | Topics: Aberdeen, landslide

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