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Interstate 5 could close in Fife

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Jan. 7, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
January 7, 2009 5:15 pm

The State Patrol and Department of Transportation are monitoring Interstate 5 through Fife for possible closure. Here is the release from the Washington Emergency Management Division.


Potential Exists for I-5 Closure in Fife

CAMP MURRAY, WASH. – Current river forecasts indicate the potential for flooding in the Fife area that would require the closure of Interstate-5 in the area north of the Puyallup River Bridge.


Precise timing is difficult to predict, but computer models indicate that the freeway and surrounding areas might flood within the next few hours. There is potential for the freeway to be closed prior to the conclusion of this afternoon’s rush hour.


The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Washington State Patrol (WSP) are closely monitoring the Puyallup River to determine the proper timing. Along with computer modeling and river gauges, the Washington State Patrol has assigned troopers to visually monitor river levels and provide warning.


Alternate routes are limited, with State Routes 167 and 512 being the most likely options for drivers. WSP and WSDOT are still determining the appropriate closure points.


"Closing a major freeway in such a highly-populated, urban area is not something we take lightly," said Assistant Chief Les Young of WSP’s Field Operations Bureau. "Our priority is to close the freeway early enough that we don’t put anyone in harm’s way."


Residents should monitor local news, highway signage and the WSDOT website (www.wsdot.wa.gov) to learn of further developments.

It is not clear how long the freeway and surrounding areas will be under water. Once the water recedes it will be necessary for engineers to check the roadbed for safety and make any needed repairs before reopening.


Road Closures


Washington State Patrol (WSP) & Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) report Blewett, Snoqualmie, Stevens and White Passes closed.


Major highway road closures reported include SR 106, SR 410, SR 539, SR 9, SR 546, SR 202, SR 162, SR 112, SR 165, SR 10, SR 8 and SR 20 due to mudslides, water over roadway, roadcuts and safety concerns. Please check with the WSDOT for closures and approximate reopening times at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/.


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Washington Military Department

Washington Emergency Management Division

Camp Murray, Washington

www.emd.wa.gov

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