The King County Sheriff’s Office air support unit was called up to Mount St. Helens early Monday morning after 12 people and a dog were caught at Johnston Ridge Observatory after a mudslide wiped out a bridge.
Both directions of state Route 504, also known as the Spirit Lake Highway, near Coldwater Lake are now closed with no current estimated time for reopening, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported Monday. Crews closed the seasonal gate to Mount St. helens at milepost 45 until further notice.
The northern access point to the mountain, Windy Ridge via Randle, is not yet open for the season, but the slide is unlikely to affect access there.
“Based on what crews are seeing this morning from the ground, a significant amount of debris is blocking both directions of SR-504 near Coldwater Lake. There may be significant structural damage along the roadway. Travelers should plan for an extended closure of the highway,” WSDOT Southwest stated on Twitter.