WENATCHEE, Wash. -The Transportation Department has issued an emergency contract for big bulldozers and other heavy equipment to clear weekend mudslides that have closed the North Cascades Highway.
Spokesman Jeff Adamson in Wenatchee says they’d like to reopen Highway 20 by this weekend but it could be next week.
Eight significant slides have closed the highway from Rainy Pass, 10 miles to the west.
Adamson says the biggest slide is about a quarter-mile long, covering two lanes with rock, trees and mud 25 feet deep.
The slides were triggered by intense thunderstorms that also washed out a road and stranded 65 hikers near Marblemount.
Rains also caused washouts and mudslides in the Colockum area south of Wenatchee.