WOODLAND, Wash. - Drivers on Interstate 5 just 26 miles north of Portland, Oregon, have been stranded since Wednesday afternoon after northbound lanes were swamped by a massive landslide triggered by days of pounding rain.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, toured the damage Thursday.
“Here in Woodland we have a good coordinated effort to open I as fast and soon as possible,” he said, “The department of transportation has hope … to reopen at least one late sometime tonight, but the hope depends on the geology right now.
Geotech engineers finished asses the slope around 11 a.m., and determined crews can start clearing parts of the highway to restore traffic northbound.
Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted that crews reopened one lane to traffic.
Just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday, two lanes reopened to traffic
Crews are working to get all lanes open late Sunday.
When WSDOT announced the closure, officials said there was no detour route.
"It was crazy and I was scared," said Diane Smith of Lacey, Washington, who was stuck for three hours behind the landslide on I-5, and then drove a steep, windy mountain road to get around the slide.
KIRO 7 News will update this story as soon as the route opens at Dike Road.