Slide disrupts passenger trains north of Seattle

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SEATTLE — Rain keeps falling and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman says another mudslide has halted commuter and passenger train service between Seattle and Everett, Wash.

Spokesman Gus Melonas says the 6:40 p.m. Friday slide south of Everett dumped a 5-foot-deep swath of trees, mud and rock debris along a 20-foot stretch.

Crews quickly began removing the material and freight train service was delayed only temporarily.

Still, the slide reset the required 48-hour moratorium for passenger trains. Melonas says the situation will be reassessed this evening.

Commuter and passenger service has been canceled for most of the week on that stretch of track because of more than 10 slides affecting BNSF Railway tracks.

Commuters can check soundtransit.org for updates.

Officer hit by falling tree paralyzed below waist

PORTLAND — Portland police say a 19-year veteran officer struck by a falling tree during Monday’s powerful Northwest storm is paralyzed below the waist.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said late Friday night that doctors don’t believe Officer Paul Meyer will regain the use of his legs. Meyer remains hospitalized in Portland.

He was taking part in all-terrain vehicle training when he was hit by a tree that witnesses described as “telephone pole-sized.”

Officers were training on Hayden Island, located in the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Wash.

Though the storm was anticipated, Simpson said earlier that police went ahead with the mid-morning training session because strong winds had yet to accompany the rain.

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