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Northbound I-5 near Lake Samish fully reopens after another landslide

The small landslide was in the same area where I-5 was previously closed due to a similar incident earlier this month.
Credit: WSP
A landslide partially blocking northbound I-5 on Nov. 28, 2021 after heavy rain continued to fall in the region.

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The right lane of northbound Interstate 5 near Lake Samish is back open as of Monday afternoon following a small landslide.

The landslide occurred near milepost 245, south of Bellingham, in the same vicinity as a previous landslide and flooding earlier this month that blocked the entire freeway, according to state Trooper Rocky Oliphant.

Crews responded to the current landslide around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The lane reopened one day later, around 3:30 p.m. Monday. 

Rain from the latest atmospheric river has increased soil instability, especially in Whatcom and Skagit counties, where the rain is heaviest.

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The northwestern Olympic Peninsula and Whatcom and Skagit counties saw rainfall totals of up to 4 inches in 24 hours by noon on Sunday.

The rain will taper off Monday, just in time for the next system to arrive Tuesday arrives on Tuesday.

These weather systems aren't expected to be nearly as severe as the one that caused historic flooding in Whatcom and Skagit counties Nov. 16-17. Floodwaters damaged more than 80% of the homes in Sumas, and communities are still recovering. Earlier this week, emergency management officials assessed the damage in Whatcom County to prepare to apply for federal disaster relief.

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