weather

The flooding in the Mississippi River Valley that has already killed at least 18 people in Missouri and Illinois could get worse before it gets better.

Northwest Snow Piles Up Ahead Of Schedule

Dec 29, 2015

Oregon and Washington have above-average snowpack levels basically everywhere, according to numbers released this week.

The color-coded maps from the National Weather Service in Portland range from light to dark blue for nearly all of Oregon and much of Washington. That means snowpack is at least 130 percent of average.

White Pass near Mount Rainier is open to drivers and skiers, but damage from washouts and rockslides has reduced Highway 12 to one lane in two spots.

That road was covered by 15 feet of snow in the Snoqualmie Pass area. (The road is still six feet under the excavator.) More than 112 inches of snow have fallen in the last seven days.
Washington State Department of Transportation

Update, 10 a.m., Dec. 26, 2015: The Washington state Department of Transportation tweeted early Christmas Day that Interstate 90 westbound had reopened. The eastbound lanes had reopened a few hours earlier.

snow ski: Chairlift at Alpental, Snoqualmie Pass
Flickr Photo/Jean-Pierre Chamberland (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1TiwShp

The Cascades saw heavy snowfall Tuesday night, and more of it is in the forecast. It’s a bonanza for skiers. But a power outage has affected some ski operations.

The weather has been causing problems for power lines at Snoqualmie Pass. 

It’s been a difficult couple weeks for the small Southern Oregon community of Glendale.

“The weather hands us unexpected things from time to time, and you just manage it and deal with it in as quick and best a fashion you can,” says Mayor Adam Jones.

After days of heavy rains in mid-December, the amount of wastewater coming through the city’s treatment plant exceeded capacity. Raw sewage overflowed into Cow Creek, a tributary of the Umpqua River.

Snow Report: Bad For Drivers, Good For Skiers

Dec 23, 2015
Crews repair one of three roadway washouts at milepost 154 over White Pass on Dec. 16. The pass has since reopened.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Mx0Nx1

David Hyde speaks the recent snow onslaught in the Cascades with National Weather Service meteorologist Ted Beuhner and Adam McKenney, owner of Leavenworth Mountain Sports.

William Wells raises a weather balloon for launch on St. Paul Island, Alaska.
KUCB photo/John Ryan

William Wells dashes out into a 30-knot wind, releases a huge balloon and watches it whip toward the endless whitecaps of the Bering Sea.

It’s all in a day’s work at what may be the nation's most remote weather station.

Heavy rains in the lowlands and heavy snow in the mountains are making holiday travel tricky.

Washington’s White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mount Rainier is still closed both eastbound and westbound. Crews are still working 24/7 to open the high Cascade pass by Christmas, but winter storms might slow that work down.

U.S. Highway 12 at White Pass is still closed to all but local residents both east and west. The state’s Department of Transportation is working to clear three rockslides and one washout. But there is still no estimate for reopening the highway.

The federal government announced Friday that it would send $1 million each to Washington and Oregon for fast road repairs after heavy storms this week. Both Washington and 13 counties in Oregon are under emergency declarations.

Washington state transportation officials have crews out assessing the damage to White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mt. Rainier Thursday. There’s no estimate yet of when the high pass will reopen after heavy rains tore the roadway out in several places and caused rockslides.

Andrew Ide grapples with flooding on his farm in Snohomish.
Courtesy of Micha Ide

Farmer Micha Ide had to canoe off her property for this interview – that’s how bad the flooding was.

Ide was at her neighbor’s house when she spoke with KUOW’s Bill Radke. Her goats and sheep were there too, and would be until waters from the Snohomish River recede.

Washington and Oregon geologists are warning residents of a higher risk for landslides than usual this week. Several storms moving through the region have quickly drenched steep slopes.

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