SEATTLE (AP) - Tens of thousands of people were without power in Washington state and there were concerns about flooding as snow turned to rain in many parts of the Pacific Northwest.
The National Weather Service reports that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has received 20.2 inches (51 centimeters) of snow so far in February, the snowiest month in more than 50 years. Warming temperatures on Tuesday brought relief, but also new concerns as some roofs collapsed, heavy tree branches snapped and contributed to power outages and closed some roads.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported another death from exposure Tuesday, the fourth hypothermia-related death recorded by the office this month. Barbara Arvidson, 74, died Sunday in Enumclaw from hypothermia brought on by exposure, the Seattle Times reported . Her death follows that of Derek C. Johnson, 59, who was found at a Seattle light-rail station Feb. 7.
Stanley Little, 84, was found dead from apparent hypothermia inside his Fall City home last Thursday, according to King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott. Carl Soderberg, 53, was found dead outside a neighbor’s Maple Valley home Saturday. Investigators believe he was checking on elderly neighbors when he succumbed to the cold, Abbott said.
On Tuesday evening, more than 53,000 customers remained without power, down from about 83,000 in the morning. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for northwest Oregon and parts of Washington through Wednesday morning.
The main east-west highway across Washington state - Interstate 90 - closed Monday across Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains due to severe winter weather and avalanche danger. It stayed shut Tuesday with no estimated time for reopening. An avalanche supervisor measured 53 inches (135 centimeters) of snow there in 48 hours, officials said.
An equipment malfunction during the storm early Tuesday at a King County pump station in Bellevue caused up to 750,000 gallons of wastewater to flow into Lake Washington, according to a statement from the county’s wastewater treatment division.
Storms bringing cold temperatures and winds gusting to 80 miles per hour were blamed for killing about 1,600 dairy cows in the Yakima Valley.
Another 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) of new snow fell in the Spokane, Washington, region overnight, turning the streets into a slippery mess and prompting numerous school districts to cancel classes for the day.
Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University cancelled classes on Tuesday, but Washington State University reopened for school. Officials reported more than 100 traffic accidents in the Spokane area Monday.
Spokane and much of northeastern Washington remained under a winter storm warning on Tuesday, with 3 to 6 inches (7.6 to 15.2 centimeters) of new snow expected to fall in the region, the National Weather Service said.
In Oregon, an overnight crash due in the Columbia River Gorge that involved three semi-trucks closed interstate 84 eastbound and left only one westbound lane open.
The Portland metropolitan area saw heavy rain but conditions in the gorge were treacherous, with icy roads, snow and several feet of powder on Mount Hood over the past few days.
There were reports of local flooding around Portland and in southwest Washington state after several inches of rain fell across the region in 24 hours. Columbia County, Oregon, officials issued a statement warning drivers of flooding on Highway 30 between Portland and Rainier, Washington, and small mudslides were reported north of Portland.
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