So the 40-year record snowfall we’ve experienced has been replaced with rain and temperatures rising into the 50s causing massive flooding across Western Washington. The picture at the top of this post is of I-5 the major North-South route between Portland and Seattle. It is flooded over for 20 miles right now and closed by Chehalis, about 80 miles north of Portland. Train service between the cities has been cancelled. And due to avalanches and mudslides the East-West route out of Seattle, I-90 is also closed, so the 440-mile detour around the Chehalis flooding is not open.
Further flooding is expected to close I-5 at Fife, between Seattle and Tacoma, and the city of Tacoma has declared a civil emergency. Unfortunately, besides all of the other hazards, problems and travails the flooding is causing, it’s also going to affect the Northwest Regional Barista Competition as many competitors and judges were planning on traveling to Tacoma tomorrow. Organizers of the event have asked competitors to be as flexible as possible about competition times and days, and our hoping to work out swaps for the competitors for those who can make it tomorrow and those who may be able to make it to Tacoma on Saturday.
In the meantime, we will update the blog with any new information we receive on scheduling for the competition.