The snow has melted away, but forecasters say that there’s a possibility of more, particularly in the hills and mountains to the east of us. A Winter Weather Advisory is up for the local area until 11 am today, saying that the heavy rain that’s falling now could change over to snow, before tapering off later today. Forecasters say that one to four inches is possible, particularly above 500 feet in elevation. They say a “period of wet snow” could impact I-5 and Highway 30 at some point this morning. There’s also a wind advisory up for the local area until 10 am this morning, with wind gusts of up to 45 miles an hour possible. Rain has been heavy overnight, with just over an inch recorded over the past 24 hours at the Southwest Washington Regional Airport in Kelso. Longview’s reporting station had 1.45 inches, and Castle Rock is now reporting more than 2 inches of rain over the past 24 hours. There have been some gusty winds, but so far, there’s been no power outages reported as a result of the wind and rain. A Winter Storm Warning remains up until 6 pm today in the Coast Range, the Cascade foothills and in the mountains, with six to 12 inches of snow possible above 1,000 feet to the west of us, one to two feet in the foothills, and up to four feet in the Cascades out of this event. If you’re on the road today, be ready for extremely difficult driving conditions.
Archive | February, 2011
This heavy rain is also having an impact on local roads, with Oregon State Police reporting landslides blocking a portion of Highway 30 near Goble. OSP reported that the eastbound lane was blocked at about 7:30 am, with multiple slides reported between milepost 37 and 38, about two miles east of Goble. Troopers say that some cars have hit some of the debris, but no injuries have been reported at this time. Highway crews are responding to the area, controlling traffic with flaggers. OSP says that delays of up to 20 minutes at a time are possible, so budget some extra time if you’re planning to use that part of Highway 30 this morning.
The Red Cross is assisting a family that was displaced by a fire that happened yesterday on Alpha Drive. Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue was called out at about noon yesterday, when the fire was reported at 65 Alpha Drive. When firefighters arrived, they found flames shooting out of a window on the double-wide mobile home. The first engine on the scene was able to get the fire out in about five minutes; firefighters also say that they were able to save one of two birds that were in the home. The mother and four children who’d been in the house were alerted by a smoke alarm, and all escaped safely. The cause was traced to a lamp that had been placed too close to some mattresses; total damage is estimated at about $40,000. No injuries were reported.
They’re still trying to figure out the cause of a fire that destroyed a laundry and utility building at a mobile home park in South Kelso. This fire was reported at about 4:30 Saturday morning, at 507 Colorado Street. Three engines from Cowlitz 2 responded, along with a Longview engine and a medic unit. The building ended up being a total loss. One firefighter sustained a shoulder injury during the effort, and was taken to St. John Medical Center for treatment. It took about a half-hour to get the fire contained. There’s no dollar estimate on the damage done as of yet.
A Vancouver couple is back at home, safe and sound, after spending nearly a week stranded in the snow near the Ape Caves. John and Patricia Norvell, both 63 years of age, had taken off on Monday, heading up to take some pictures in the snow near Mt. St. Helens. They got into some deep snow, and when they tried to back down, their SUV slid into a ditch. The couple hadn’t alerted anyone about their trip, so no one knew they were missing until the middle of the week. They rationed the gas left in their Jeep Cherokee, turning the engine on and off to stay warm; they also rationed out their meager food rations, and spooned snow into water bottles. The couple’s ordeal ended on Friday, when some folks running up to drop some gear off at a nearby cabin happened upon the stranded Jeep. Despite having spent the better part of five days in the cold, with little food, the Norvell’s were in pretty good shape, and didn’t even go to the hospital. John Norvell says that during their ordeal, they made a list of supplies, to make sure that they pack those items on future adventures.
Today is the deadline to get signed up for this year’s Citizen Police Academy, which is set to start on Wednesday, March 10th. The Kelso and Longview Police Departments team up with the Sheriff’s Office to teach the ten-week course, which provides information to citizens on a wide variety of law enforcement topics. Officer Bebe McFall with the Kelso Police Department says that the goal is to provide useful information to local citizens about law enforcement. Topics include Patrol, SWAT, drugs, firearms, gangs and K-9, along with others. The academy will offer a tour of the jail, 911 dispatch, and students will also be able to take part in a police ride-along. The Citizens Police Academy is free, and open to any Cowlitz County citizen. You do need to go through a background check. Contact Kelso Police, Longview Police or the Sheriff’s Office for applications and other information.
The efforts of the employees at the Walstead Mertsching legal firm have helped to establish a fund that will help patients at the Saint John Medical Center Dialysis Unit. Over this past holiday season, Walstead Mertsching employees collected more than $1,200 in donations for the Dialysis Unit, and the PeaceHealth St. John Foundation now says that’s enough to help establish the Dialysis Patient Assistance Fund. Foundation officials say that proceeds from the fund will help benefit patients who need extra care curing their treatment. Walstead Mertsching employees also donated new toys and books to “A Child’s Place,” the hospital’s facility that helps kids with behavioral and emotional issues. Foundation officials say that the offer a heartfelt thank your to the Walstead Mertsching employees for their generosity.
A couple of local business people are being honored for excellence. Today’s Daily News reports that Kelso optometrist Dr. Ed Laulainen was recently honored for his commitment to patient care and practice growth at a meeting of the Cleinman Performance network, a group of “high-performing” independent optometry practices from around the country. Holly Bishop with Bishop’s Bail Bonds was also honored at the recent convention of Professional Bail Agents of the United States, inducted into the groups “Hall of Honor” at their national convention in Las Vegas. The group represents eight thousand bail agents from across the country, and selects one agent each year for this award. Bishop has been a bail agent for some 40 years.
The WSU Cougars completed the season sweep over the Washington Huskies with an 80-69 win last night in Seattle. Klay Thompson led the Cougs with 26 points…..The Atlanta Hawks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 90-83 last night. Jamal Crawford scored 23 including a big three pointer late to preserve the Hawks victory……Toutle Lake opens the girls 2B State Final Eight in Spokane Thursday. The Ducks take on Brewster at 5:30 pm…..The LCC women open the NWAACC Championships Saturday in Kennewick after downing Green River Saturday to cap a 16-0 West Region title. The Devils play SW Oregon at 2 pm Saturday…..The Mariners beat the padres 13-12 in 10 innings Sunday. The M’s and Pads play again today in Peoria, KLOG 11:55 am.
The Blazers pulled off a trade before the deadline yesterday, acquiring Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two future first round draft picks. The Blazers host the Denver Nuggets tonight, KLOG 6:05 pm…..The WIAA State Regional events begin today across the state. Mark Morris hosts a 2B boys and girls event today and tomorrow. Toutle Lake gets it started with a game against Entiat at 4 pm. The Kalama boys take on Nooksack Valley in a 6 pm game tonight at W.F. West in Chehalis…..In men’s Pac-10 hoops, Oregon State upset Stanford 87-80 and Cal beat Oregon 81-71…..The LCC basketball teams end the league season with games at Green River Saturday, both heard on KLOG. The women’s game is at 3 pm and the men at 5 pm.