North Cascade Highway reopens after mudslides

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 19, 2013 

RAINY PASS - The North Cascades Highway reopened at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, after crews cleared mudslides that had cut it off more than a week ago.

Heavy rain, hail and high winds triggered mudslides west of Rainy Pass, east of Diablo, the night of Aug. 10. By the end of the next day, eight slides in the area covered Highway 20. They were up to 25 feet deep and a quarter-mile long, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

No one was injured despite the numerous slides.

DOT crews started working Aug. 11 to clear what ended up being roughly 3,000 dump truck loads of mud, boulders, trees and debris.

Crews also had to repair pavement, drainage and guardrails damaged by the slides before reopening the highway. Drivers still may see some work on the road.

The highway, which connects the Skagit and Methow valleys, normally closes over the Cascades during the winter.

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