Snow, mudslides and a quake harry Washington state


SPOKANE, OMAK and MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — Spokane road crews were on a 24-hour schedule to plow streets after 6 inches of snow fell Monday, causing dozens of accidents.

Forecasters say the snow is turning to rain today in the Eastern Washington valleys while heavy snow is expected on the east slopes of the Cascades. Temperatures start dropping Wednesday bringing a chance of snow showers into the weekend.

In Western Washington, the National Weather Service forecasts a wet and windy today with up to 2 inches of rain in the lowlands and more than a foot of snow in the mountains.

Heavy precipitation continues to affect railroad travel in the western part of the state. A railroad spokesman says a fresh mudslide hit tracks north of Seattle, triggering yet another 48-hour moratorium on passenger train service between Seattle and Everett.

Passenger train service in the corridor had just been cleared to resume at about 4 a.m. Sunday following two mudslides that hit the tracks last week. The latest slide hit at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says two freight trains in the area were alerted by a signal system and stopped short of the slide, which hit about two miles south of Mukilteo.

Melonas said freight train traffic was expected to resume today.

The spokesman says it’s the 73rd slide along the rail tracks between Seattle and Everett since Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, the U. S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 rattled the Omak area at 5:39 a.m. today.

A dispatcher for the Okanogan County sheriff’s office says it had one call from someone who felt the quake, but no reports of damage.


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