Continued from page 4

SEATTLE | Record rainfall in the Pacific Northwest triggered mudslides on Sunday as it swelled rivers and placed small towns in Washington and areas of Portland under flood threat.

Forecasters said storms were expected to dump up to 6 inches of rain in a day, and flooding was expected to be widespread.

“We’re looking at the wettest storm system we’ve had in almost two years,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kirby Cook in Seattle.

Portland officials warned residents in flood-prone areas such as the Johnson Creek watershed to be prepared to evacuate. The tributary empties in the Willamette River about six miles south of downtown Portland.


Foreman at fatal mine was unqualified

CHARLESTON | A Massey Energy Co. miner falsified his qualifications to work as a foreman at two of the Richmond, Va.-based coal company’s mines, the Charleston Gazette reported Sunday.

The newspaper cited state records that show Thomas Harrah used two foreman’s certificate numbers obtained from other miners while working for Massey.

Mr. Harrah performed more than 200 safety exams at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in 2008 and 2009 and at the Slip Ridge Cedar Grove mine in August 2009. However, he wasn’t working at Upper Big Branch when an explosion killed 29 miners April 5, the deadliest at a U.S. coal mine in decades; his mining certificate was already suspended by that time, according to state records.

State mine safety chief C.A. Phillips told the newspaper that records about Mr. Harrah have been turned over to federal criminal investigators looking into the explosion. A spokeswoman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration would neither confirm nor deny that the agency is investigating Mr. Harrah. No one answered at a telephone number listed for Mr. Harrah on Sunday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports