Weekend Rain Causes Landslides, Road Closures

By Natalie Johnson and Justyna Tomtas / The Chronicle

Heavy rainfall over the weekend has led to a number of issues and closures on Lewis County roads due to landslides and standing water. Many of the closures affected roads in East Lewis County, according to information listed on Lewis County’s website.

While the Chehalis River crested at 57.5 feet Sunday — well below flood stage — the Cowlitz reached 20.3 feet Sunday night, about 2 feet over its flood stage, said Steve Mansfield, Lewis County’s director of emergency services.

In Randle, flooding resulted in the evacuation of one family, he told the Board of Lewis County Commissioners Monday.

“Over 24 feet at Randle is bad news for folks up there,” Mansfield said.

In Mineral, state Route 7 at milepost 11 was closed at 3:19 a.m. Sunday due to a landslide. It is unknown when the road will reopen.

The slide is at the same location as a previous landslide in February, Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza said at the Lewis County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday morning.

“I talked to the state employees out there last night,” he said. “They are working diligently to repair the roadway.”

The Mineral and Ashford areas were isolated due to road closures, he said.

“We’re continually monitoring that area and are working with public works feverishly to make sure to report any damage to the roads to them,” Snaza said.

As of Monday morning, Cispus and Peters roads in Randle were closed due to water over both lanes. Cline Road in Randle was closed due to water on the road but reopened Monday morning.

State Route 131 at the Cowlitz River Bridge, near Skinner Road, was closed due to water on the road as of Sunday afternoon.

In Packwood, Skate Creek Road at milepost 16.5 was closed just before noon Sunday due to a landslide. All lanes were blocked “and will be for several days,” according to Lewis County.

In Ashford, state Route 123 is closed until it meets state Route 706 in Stevens Canyon. The road was closed at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

In Morton, Butts Road and Skaggs Road were listed as restricted due to standing water.

According to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Forest Road 20 is closed between mileposts 4 and 5 due to a washout, Forest Road 21 is closed at milepost 8 because of a landslide and Forest Road 65 is listed as impassable south of Thomas Lake.

In Centralia, Teitzel Road was listed as restricted, but passable Monday morning with 3 inches of water over both lanes.

Several roads in Chehalis were also affected. Tauscher Road was closed Sunday morning from North Fork Road to the 600 block of Tauscher Road due to standing water.

The Intersection of Hamilton and Labree roads was listed as restricted as of Sunday afternoon due to water on the road.

In Winlock, Frost Road was listed as restricted Sunday morning between mileposts 1 and 2 due to standing water.

After last week’s rain, Lewis County is predicted to dry out with sun and warmer temperatures through this week, except for predicted chance of showers Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

For more information on county road closures and restrictions, go to http://roads.lewiscountywa.gov.