PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A landslide that closed all northbound lanes of Interstate 5 north of Woodland was cleared and the lanes re-opened, the Washington State Patrol said just after 6 p.m. Monday.
“GREAT NEWS! Thanks to the quick work of our crews, they were able to clear the debris slide on NB I-5 just north of Woodland, near Dike Rd at Exit 22, and reopen all lanes of the highway! 🙌🏼” the Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted.
Northbound I-5 closed north of Woodland around 3:40 p.m. when a landslide has blocked all northbound lanes.
Finn and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue in Ridgefield said the closure was at milepost 24. Fire officials and the Washington State Department of Transportation said drivers were diverted at milepost 22, at the Woodland exit.
WSDOT said the closure was near Dike Road. Washington State Patrol worked to turn traffic around at State Route 14.
Trooper Finn said debris fell onto the roadway and struck two cars. One person suffered a minor injury.
Washington State Patrol put signs up at Ridgefield and Woodland alerting drivers to not get on the road. Anyone headed toward the slide was asked to stop, delay travel or go in a different direction.
Finn stated the ilani Casino Resort opened up its parking lot to commercial vehicles that were waiting for the landslide to get cleared.
‘Prepared to be here all night’
The landslide immediately stranded thousands of motorists, like John Lucas.
“I noticed the freeway was starting to back up as well as the entrance as well as the entrance to the freeway so I heard on the radio then there was a mudslide. It was going to be a while so I decided to just find a place to park,” he told KOIN 6 News.
He was stuck for about 2 hours and said he saw “several semis turn around on the northbound lane and head down the shoulder back that way to try to get out.”
Lucas said he was very happy the landslide was cleared relatively quickly.
“I was actually prepared to be here all night if I had to,” he said. “There’s an area up there between here and Kalama and actually just one beyond Kalama where there’s quite often debris on the road. Not usually pretty bad but sometimes it’ll close at least one lane.”