The Latest: Women drowns after car ends up in floodwaters

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2015 11:54 PM
The Latest: Women drowns after car ends up in floodwaters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The latest on heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

A woman drowned after her car became submerged on a flooded road in Oregon, The Oregonian reported.

Firefighters found a man standing on top of a car in knee-to-waist deep water at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said the man drove himself and the woman into high water where the road was closed near U.S. Highway 30 and Lost Creek Road in Clatskanie. The car then sank into about 12 feet of water.

Responders found the woman dead at the scene. She has not been identified.

Clatskanie is about 60 miles northwest of Portland.

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6:30 p.m.

Officials with Puget Sound Energy say power was restored to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in western Washington on Wednesday. Crews are still working to restore power to about 15,000 customers in the area.

Portland General Electric says they've restored power to about 55,000 customers since the first wave of the storm Monday morning. Officials say power to the remaining 1200 customers will be restored this evening.

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5:15 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency after days of hazardous weather with landslides, power outages and flooding of roadways, homes and property. The proclamation covers the series of storms that began Nov. 30 and are continuing.

Inslee says some of the most severe flooding in Washington has occurred in three counties to the north and south of Seattle. The declaration also directs the Washington Military Department to coordinate state response activities and can be used to activate the Washington National Guard if necessary.

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4:45 p.m.

The Washington Department of Transportation has closed all lanes of northbound Interstate 5, the state's busiest highway, in an area about 30 miles north of Portland due to a slide that brought rocks and mud onto the road.

Cleanup will begin once officials have determined it is safe. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.

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1:10 p.m.

A small RV park near the Puyallup River in Washington state was evacuated on Wednesday morning as floodwaters stranded several recreational vehicles and small cars.

Firefighters went vehicle-to-vehicle to make sure everyone was safe and some people were evacuated by boat. The camp was a temporary home for several dozen RVs and camper-trailers.

The flooded park was just down the river from the area where seven people in a riverbank homeless camp were swept into the water and later rescued Wednesday morning.

The owner of the RV park, Kevin McLeod, hooked up a pump midday to try to move water out of the park and back into the river.

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10:15 a.m.

State transportation officials have closed a 45-mile stretch of U.S. Route 12 in south central Washington after heavy rains washed out a portion of the road west of White Pass.

Spokeswoman Summer Derrey says crews are waiting for safe conditions Wednesday before going in to assess the damage and determine how to make repairs. She says the stretch — east of Packwood and just west of Naches — is closed indefinitely.

Rockslides and mudslides have also caused problems in the area.

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8:45 a.m.

Seven people who were swept into the Puyallup River from a riverbank homeless camp in western Washington have been rescued.

The News Tribune newspaper reports (http://is.gd/7Wk7jd) someone called 911 around 6:30 am. Wednesday to report people were in the river up to their waists and chests beneath the State Route 512 overpass.

Puyallup police Capt. Scott Engle says they were apparently swept into the water during the storm. All seven were pulled out of the river by Central Pierce Fire & Rescue by 8 a.m. and checked by paramedics.

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8 a.m.

A mudslide has closed State Route 2 just west of Leavenworth in the Cascade Range. Highway 2 is one of the main east-west routes over the mountains in Washington state.

Trooper Darren Wright of the Washington State Patrol says mud was 10 feet deep in some places on the highway Wednesday morning.

The other main highway over the mountains, Interstate 90, also is experiencing weather-related problems.

The right lane of westbound I-90 was closed Wednesday morning because of water on the road.

A mudslide also has closed roads in Woodinville and Fall City.

The National Weather Service says wind and rain are expected to slow Wednesday, but snow may continue to fall in the mountains.

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7:15 a.m.

Several Washington state school districts are either closed or getting late starts Wednesday because of a rain and wind storm that is starting to subside.

The National Weather Service says wind and rain are expected to slow Wednesday, but snow may continue to fall in the mountains.

Flood warnings remain in effect for nearly a dozen rivers in Washington state.

More than 70,000 homes and businesses are without power in western Washington on Wednesday morning, while 26,000 Portland General Electric customers in Oregon were in the dark.

At Sea-Tac Airport, where the official weather for Seattle is recorded, the weather service says 2.13 inches of rain fell on Tuesday. That beats the previous Dec. 8 record of 1.61 inches. The airport also recorded a record high of 60 degrees on Tuesday.

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6:50 a.m.

The Oregon Department of Transportation says landslides and high water have closed parts of many state highways. Some of the hardest-hit areas were near the Oregon Coast, which was hammered overnight by heavy rain that has inundated the Pacific Northwest in recent days.

Strong winds knocked out power to many homes in the region. In Washington, Puget Sound Energy reported more than 70,000 power outages as of 5:30 a.m. Portland General Electric says crews are trying to restore power to 26,000 customers.

Flood warnings remain in effect in both states.

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6:20 a.m.

A tree crashed into a Portland, Oregon, home, killing a 60-year-old woman, as the Pacific Northwest was inundated with another night of heavy rain.

Lt. Rich Tyler of the Portland Fire Bureau says the front corner of the house was completely sheared from the back of the house early Wednesday. Firefighters stabilized the home so they could remove the tree and recover the body, which has been sent for an autopsy.

The woman's brother and husband, who were also in the home, escaped uninjured.

More than 5 inches of rain have fallen on Portland since Sunday. The flooding in Oregon and Washington has unleashed landslides, flooding and wreaked havoc on transit systems.