TRAIN CRASH: Details on how long I-5 has been closed previously

Traffic officials are asking drivers to prepare for the possibility of a multi-day closure of SB Interstate 5 around the train derailment.

The longest recently closure of I-5 was in May and June of 2013 after the Skagit River Bridge collapsed after being hit by a truck.

Here is a recap of some of the previous I-5 closures:

More on derailment from KIRO 7 


- May 18, 1980: After the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, the State Patrol closed an 8-mile stretch of I-5 in both directions because they were concerned about a bridge over the Toutle River being damaged. The freeway was opened after the logjams moved pass the bridge, though it closed again briefly on May 19. There were also several other road closures after the eruption.

- May 28, 1999: Both directions of Interstate 5 in Shoreline were closed after a gunman went on a killing spree and barricaded himself in a home with guns near the freeway. Those killed included the suspect's mother, his 2-year-old nephew, and a woman who lived in Shoreline. Another woman and man were injured and three police officers were wounded. Sheriff Dave Reichert ordered a sniper to shoot the suspect. During the hours-long standoff before the suspect was killed by a single police rifle shot, traffic around Interstate 5 backed up for miles and created the worst evening traffic jam Seattle had in the 1990s. ""It was a tough decision to make," Reichert told The Times of the order to shoot that day, "but in this case it was the right thing to do. I think we saved some lives by making that decision."

- December 3-6, 2007: A 20-mile section of Interstate 5 was closed because of floodwaters. Then-Governor Christine Gregoire declared a state of emergency and detours went onto State Route 76 and U.S. Route 10 for trucks and emergency supplies on a case-by-case basis. One lane reopened on December 6 to commercial freight vehicles and 11 miles were reopened to all traffic. I-5 completely reopened on December 7. The detour from Seattle to Portland was about 440 miles, winding through Yakima, Ellensburg and the Tri-Cities. It was the first compete freeway closure in the area since 1996, according to State Department of Transportation.

- January 7-9, 2009: Interstate 5 was closed because of flooding in Centralia, Orting and Chehalis. Gregoire said the initial damage estimate to roads and infrastructure was $125 million.

- May 23, 2013: The Skagit River Bridge collapsed about 7 p.m. blocking traffic in both directions for hours after the bridge was struck by a southbound semi-trailer truck. Governor Jan Inslee declared a state of emergency and a temporary span went into place on June 19. The permanent replacement was moved into place September 15.

- January 6, 2017: Both directions of Interstate 5 were closed in Centralia for hours after a 16-year-old girl crossing to meet friends was struck by an SUV.

- February 27, 2017: A semi-truck with propane rolled on southbound Interstate 5. Both directions were closed for about eight hours in the space between Interstate 90 and the West Seattle Bridge causing a massive traffic backup in Seattle.

What's a good alternate route to use during the closure?

The best alternate route is as follows, according to KIRO 7's Rachel Calderon: Exit I-5 at Highway 16 through Gig Harbor to Port Orchard, exit to Highway 3, head south to Shelton, exit Highway 101 to Olympia, to I-5. Trooper Bova with the Washington State Patrol said around 1 p.m.,

JBLM is diverting traffic through Center Drive to SR 510.  Northbound I-5 traffic is asked not to divert and to continue on I-5.

Download the KIRO 7 News app for breaking developments on this story. See slideshow of crash here. 

More on derailment from KIRO 7