Northwest floods close 20-mile section of I-5

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Heavy flooding in western Washington state forced authorities to close a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in rural Lewis County, according to the Washington State Emergency Management Center. The section of highway, which was closed Wednesday, Jan. 7, is expected to reopen Friday, Jan. 9.

As much as 13 inches of rain had fallen in some areas in western Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 7, the National Weather Service office in Seattle says. The situation has been worsened by higher-than-normal temperatures that have caused snow to melt, the office says.

Amtrak has suspended service between Seattle and Portland and other areas because of the threat of mudslides, says Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham. Service could be suspended as long as two days, Graham says.