(By Staff Reports/Chewelah Independent)
NE Washington roads washing out in Tri-County area, HWY 395 closing and opening north of Colville…
Highway 395 north of Colville closed and opened Tuesday again after WSDOT reported that measures to stem the flooding over the roadway had failed. The highway closed early Tuesday and reopened in the afternoon. It showed that NE Washington isn’t out of the flooding season yet, not by a longshot.
The biggest road closure for the Chewelah area is Flowery Trail Road which has experienced a slide on the Pend Oreille County side of the route and is now closed to through traffic between Danforth and Westside Calispel until further notice. A detour via Cusick Meadow, Westside Calispel and Danforth roads is in place so drivers can still go that direction.
Last Thursday, overnight flooding Thursday washed out a portion of Highway 395 about 10 miles north of the Columbia River Bridge at milepost 248.8 over Matson Creek, reports the Ferry County Sheriff’s Office.
State Route 21 in Ferry County closed due to a road washout 15 miles south of Republic and the WSDOT is working on a temporary bridge 100-feet long and wide enough to handle one lane of traffic, the Spokesman-Review reports.
On Saturday, the Inchelium Highway near mile post 20 washed out. All main highways on the Colville Indian Reservation are at risk due to flooding, washouts, sink holes and landslides.
The Colville Tribe reported that since Lake Roosevelt is dropping below a level of 1,230 feet, the docks will not allow Inchelium-Gifford Ferry to operate. With the collaboration efforts from Colville Confederated Tribe, Ferry County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management and the State EMD they have decided to allow the Gifford Ferry to continue to run until Saturday, April 22 and will resume operation on May 12.
On the Reservation, Columbia River Road is open to local traffic only between Nespelem and Omak. Omak Lake Road to Kartar Valley is closed. There are reports that people driving over debris on water-covered roads is causing flat tires.
On Tuesday, a tanker carrying sulphur dioxide tipped into the ditch around 370 Spanish Prairie Road, reported the Statesman Examiner. The road was closed to traffic as sulfur dioxide is a dangerous gas inhaled. The road was being used as a detour for the closed Highway 395 section above Colville. Later Tuesday, Highway 395 was reopened to traffic, also reported by the Statesman Examiner.