NACHES — State Department of Transportation crews continued to remove thousands of cubic yards of debris from State Route 410 on Saturday in the aftermath of Thursday night’s storm that sent rocks, mud and vegetation onto the highway in the Nile Valley.
The DOT said in a news release Saturday that crews hope to reopen a three-mile stretch of roadway to through traffic by the end of the weekend. They are using excavators, front-end loaders and trucks to clear the roadway.
In the meantime, traffic is being re-routed on Nile Road. The closure affects the state highway between mileposts 105 and 108. The DOT said that while most of the debris has been removed from where the largest flash flooding occurred, local traffic should avoid trying to use the highway until it’s reopened.
Thursday night’s mudslides occurred about 15 miles west of Naches in the same location where in October 2009, a landslide buried the highway, damaged or destroyed homes and other structures, and shifted the course of the Naches River.
Officials emphasized that Thursday’s event was unlike the landslide, which was triggered by changes in the geology beneath the earth’s surface.
Thursday’s slides did not damage any homes, officials said.