PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Heavy rain and flooding, already blamed for three deaths in the Pacific Northwest, washed out a major highway near Mount Hood and forced the shutdown of 67 miles of the North Cascades Highway in Washington state Thursday.
The White River flowed over Oregon 35 on Mount Hood's eastern flank on Monday and Tuesday, cutting 20-foot-deep ruts through the road and sending boulders and trees rolling down the mountainside, said Bill Barnhart, an Oregon Department of Transportation manager.
Two creeks also wiped out a section of the same highway to the north, Barnhart said. Reopening the highway near Mount Hood is estimated to take $20 million.
The storms damaged hundreds of homes and broke rainfall records. At least three deaths were blamed on the flooding.