SR 410 reopens after closure

CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN, Wash. — UPDATE: SR 410 between Enumclaw and Crystal Mountain reopened at 5 p.m. Monday.

Previous Coverage:

A stretch of State Route 410 is closed for a fourth day because of landslides, but there has been progress.

There is no longer a Washington state trooper blocking the roadway now, because just after 6 p.m. Sunday, the road was mostly reopened to locals.

Before that, very few people were being allowed on the highway.

For most of the day, heavy equipment was allowed to do something hardly anyone else could: gain access to SR 410.

For the most part, only those helping to clear the roadway or restore power were being allowed past the roadblock. But that didn’t stop people from coming up anyway to get a look.

“Well, the sunshine is beautiful,” said Jennifer Dukes, from Tacoma. “And we’re not going any farther, I’m afraid.”

At least a portion of the road to Crystal Mountain has been closed since the first landslide early Thursday morning. Three more times since then, dirt, mud and trees have fallen off the hillside, blocking a 20-mile stretch of the highway.

The local fire chief says his department has been escorting residents out once a day to get supplies. For much of this time, they have had no power, placing a strain on emergency services, with volunteers staffing the fire station.

Still, he says this is not unusual.

“This is by no means an unprecedented event for Greenwater and Crystal Mountain,” said Paul Sowers, the Greenwater-Crystal Mountain fire chief. In the 25 years I’ve been up there, probably a half-dozen times, we’ve been isolated, for varying periods. So it’s just sort of part of life in the mountains."

And that “mountain” life just got a bit better. SR 410 is now open to milepost 48.

That means a mile of the highway is still closed off because of mudslides.

But Puget Sound Energy says it expects to have power fully restored to more than 700 customers by early this week.