Landslide blocks East Quilcene Road, takes out power lines

QUILCENE — A landslide about 4 miles east of Quilcene blocked East Quilcene Road in both directions Saturday and took out power lines, leaving more than 150 people without electricity, after heavy rain.

The slide, which occurred around milepost 3.25 on East Quilcene Road at about 11 a.m., caused power outages along East Sandy Shore and East Quilcene roads, according to Deputy Chief Don Svetich of Quilcene Fire Rescue.

According to John McDaniel, a consultant with the Jefferson County Public Utility District, roughly 150 to 160 people in Quilcene remained without power shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday.

By 2:30 p.m., power had been restored to customers on Sandy Shore Road, Lindsey Hill Road and half of East Quilcene Road.

PUD workers were awaiting the clearance of the road by Jefferson County road crews to finish the power line repairs, the PUD said on its website.

According to Svetich, the hillside along East Quilcene Road collapsed, taking down trees and power lines, which blocked both lanes and restricted access for PUD crews attempting to restore power.

“They’re saying it’ll take about four hours to clear,” Svetich said at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

A statement released Saturday by the National Weather Service in Seattle said the heavy rains that started Wednesday have triggered an increased threat of landslides across Western Washington — specifically along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal, north and central coasts, and East Puget Sound.

Since Friday, most of Western Washington has seen 0.5 to 2 inches of rain, according to the weather service, and that has added to the already saturated soil.

The weather service also issued a flood watch for Grays Harbor, Lewis and Thurston counties. It also issued a flood warning for the Chehalis River near Grand Mound in Thurston County.

In Jefferson County, power outages can be reported to the PUD by calling 360-385-5800.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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