Two slides cut off about 18 homes on the highway, with access only through old, muddy and winding logging roads. It also prevented easy access from people living west of Pe Ell into the Twin Cities.
The Washington State Department of Transportation warned the road could be closed again at any time as the hills above the road are still unstable.
As it is, state Route 6 will only have one lane open through the slide area, and only during daylight hours.
Safety is our first priority, said WSDOT Regional Administrator Don Wagner.
To ensure safety, WSDOT will have two spotters keeping an eye on the hills, as well as a flagger. If visibility is poor, WSDOT will close the road until the weather clears.
We applaud WSDOT for working hard to reopen the important road these past three weeks, and also for keeping safety at the top of its priorities with the spotters and partial opening.
The Saints Came Marching In
A lot of religious and charitable groups have stepped up during these trying times.
We take this opportunity to single one such group out, although all are deserving of recognition.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with their bright yellow shirts, is recognized for fulfilling the Bibles direction in helping out those less fortunate.
This county was decimated when the floods swept so much away the week of Dec. 3. The recovery is less than glamorous work, as brown muck had to be swept out and hosed down out of countless homes and businesses.
The Mormons stepped into the mud and despair and offered hope through a helping hand. Assisting flood victims in both Washington and Oregon, more than 4,000 members of the Mormon church helped out in the clean up, putting in more than 28,000 hours of service.
They donated more than 82,000 pounds of food and water, delivering them to community shelters out of local church storehouses.
They brought in cots, sleeping bags, wheelbarrows, shovels and diapers.
They brought in eight truckloads of more than 15,000 cleaning kits, 1,600 hygiene kits, and handed out about 1,500 blankets. The worth of their assistance is estimated at about $500,000.
Were thankful the Saints came marching in.
Dont Drink and Drive
Far too often, at The Chronicle when we come back to work following the New Years holiday, we end up reporting on deaths on our highways due to the toxic mix of alcohol and cars.
We tend to also run a long list of those caught drinking and driving, an act that often can cause one to lose their drivers license for an uncomfortable while, and also rack up expensive lawyer fees.
So we offer a preemptive warning and advice. If you must drink, dont drive. Designate a sober driver.
Make plans for alternative transportation. Dont go out. Whatever it takes, dont be part of the crime statistics to start out the new year.
Extra Washington State Patrol troopers will be out looking for cars zig-zagging along, working overtime to make us all a bit safer. We thank them for their holiday duty when we are out enjoying a bit of revelry.
Make sure you are wearing your seat belts, and dont engage in drivers exhibiting aggressive or other poor behavior.
And if you do see someone on the road that you suspect might be drunk or drugged, dont hesitate to immediately call 9-1-1. That keeps us all a bit safer.
Enjoy this special time, but be safe as you go about ushering in the new year of 2008.