CASHMERE — Intense rain in the Upper Valley triggered a mudslide along Highway 2 near Cashmere Friday afternoon, collapsing part of a hillslope onto the highway shoulder.
The slide, issuing from the Nahahum Canyon area between Cashmere’s Aplets Way and Cottage Avenue, came as the National Weather Service declared a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Saturday for all of central Chelan County, including areas burned by the recent Eagle Fire and Colockum Tarps Fire, as well as last year’s Wenatchee Complex Fire.
The “slope fluff” reached the shoulder of the road about 12:45 p.m. The highway remained open as Washington Department of Transportation crews worked to scrape the slide away from the road surface. The mud and debris, as well as the work to contain it, were partially blocking one of the highway’s four lanes at midafternoon.
“It’s not really common for that area either,” said WSDOT spokesman Bart Treece. It’s a lot of rain coming down all at once.” A rockfall nearby also blocked part of the highway briefly, Treece said.
The minor slough was nothing compared to North Cascades Highway 20, which closed Friday morning for the second time this summer after a major slide shut down traffic between milepost 147 and milepost 171.
“They’re not go even try to clear that tonight, because it’s still coming down,” Treece said.
Heavy rains in Chelan County could result in flash flooding in areas affected by the last two years’ fires. Residents in areas below the Canyon, Poison and Peavine fire areas above Cashmere and Wenatchee; the Colockum Tarps Fire near Malaga; the Eagle Fire outside Leavenworth; the Byrd Canyon Fire near Entiat; and the First Creek Fire near Chelan should be aware of the threat, the NWS said.