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Landslide still partially blocking NB I-5 in Washington

A landslide that blocked all lanes of northbound I-5 just north of Portland Thursday evening is still being cleared by state crews.

According to Washington State Trooper Will Finn, two lanes of northbound I-5 at milepost 22 are open.

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The slide at mile post 22 forced a truck traveling on the freeway into the median. No one was injured.

Shortly after the landslide was reported on the freeway, a separate issue formed on southbound I-5, nearby at mile post 26. Initially reported as a 5-foot sinkhole, that estimate was soon updated to as wide as 7 feet. The hole was in the right lane of the freeway. Shortly after that update, the Washington State Patrol clarified that the issue was a pothole, not a sinkhole.

Trooper Will Finn said that southbound traffic was not being affected by the pothole. It was repaired within two hours.

Northbound traffic on I-5 was being diverted at exit 22 to get around the landslide.

Extreme threat of landslides in King and Pierce County

The threat of mudslides and landslides after all the rain we’ve received is very real in King and Pierce counties, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Related: Why is Seattle seeing so many landslides?

A map published by DNR on Wednesday shows landslide hazard is “extreme” for portions of the two counties, including Seattle and Tacoma.

Under the “extreme” threshold, “landslide initiation is expected to be very frequent and widespread.”

Areas of Kitsap County, Jefferson County, and Thurston County have a “high” landslide hazard.

Other areas along the foothills of the Cascades and north to Everett are at “moderate” to “low.” That includes I-90, where as of 8 a.m., a mudslide had all westbound lanes blocked Thursday morning as state crews clear the road and the stability of a nearby hillside is assessed.

Over in West Seattle, a landslide is still covering a portion of Highland Park Way SW. The road will remain closed as engineers from the Seattle Department of Transportation assess the hillside. Mud and debris on the road measure about 3 to 5 feet deep. Once the hillside is deemed to be stable enough, crews can begin to clear the area.

Seattle’s February rainfall is up to approximately 7.8 inches. The National Weather Service says we can expect at least another inch over the next few days to a week.

In the past 36 hours, Seattle has received 2.37 inches of rain, according to the Weather Service.

As of 2 a.m. Thursday, this February was the sixth wettest in recorded history. An additional 1.5 inches by Feb. 28 would make it the wettest February on record.

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