GLACIER, Wash. — Crews reopened a road Tuesday to free nearly 1,000 weekend skiers stranded for two nights near Mt. Baker, and residents of flooded communities returned home.
Drenching rains and melting snow forced more than a dozen rivers to flood. In the Snoqualmie River Valley east of Seattle, it was called the worst flooding since 1959.
At about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, high water gouged a 100-foot hole in a Snohomish River dike at Ebey Island, between the towns of Snohomish and Everett, forcing the evacuation of 22 families.
Crews using heavy earthmoving equipment cleared debris from the section of Washington Highway 524 washed out by the Nooksack River that had trapped the skiers, and the first car made it over the road about 1:30 p.m., Jan Leonardo of the Whatcom County Department of Emergency Services said.