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Mudslides wash out Cascade River Road, shut down highway

MARBLEMOUNT - Heavy rainfall over the weekend triggered several mudslides and washed out a section of Cascade River Road, closing a section of state Highway 20 and stranding dozens of people.

The wash-out of Cascade River Road, which connects to the highway near Marblemount, stranded 65 people at the Cascade Pass Trailhead. They had to sleep in their vehicles Sunday night, North Cascades National Park Complex spokesman Ken Hires said.

State Highway 20 was shut down at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, at least an hour after the Department of Transportation found out about two mudslides west of Rainy Pass from drivers who had been in the area, according to the Department of Transportation.

On Monday, National Park Service employees created a temporary one-lane road to allow the hikers to bypass the washout, measured at about 15 feet deep and 40-60 feet wide.

State Department of Transportation officials estimated Monday afternoon that it could take days to reopen the highway, where eight mudslides fell between mileposts 147 and 153.

By Sunday afternoon, the number of slides had grown to eight, the largest measuring a quarter-mile long and 25 feet deep.

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