Mudslide quickly cleared from Highway 101 near Hoodsport

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

KING5.com

Posted on January 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 14 at 7:47 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. --  Washington state transportation road crews have reopened both lanes of Highway 101 near Hoodsport after a mudslide blocked the two-lane highway earlier Friday.

The mudslide came down shortly after 11:30 a.m. just north of Hoodsport. The Washington State Department of Transportation describes the mudslide as large and is estimating about 100 cubic yards of material fell across Highway 101, a key north-south route between Shelton and communities like Port Angeles and Sequim.

WSDOT spokeswoman Kelly Stowe said the mudslide is filled with trees. A WSDOT photo shows several trees draped across the highway.  

The area is known for big slides, as the highway runs on a narrow stripe of land between the waters of Hood Canal and steep hillsides.

The region has seen a number of 'so-called' mudslides with the current storm cycle, including one in Everett Thursday afternoon that halted Amtrak and Sound Transit commuter service and another near Sumner that closed the West Valley Highway.

The "slide monitor," which tracks the buildup of rainwater in the soil around Seattle, shows ground moisture levels in the Seattle area approaching, but still below, the threshold when widespread slides can be expected.

The risk of slides  has been rising for several days.

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