Thunderstorm dumps on Dayton area

Rain, rain and more rain in the middle of the night closed a section of US Highway 12 east of town.

Under a canopy of stars, lightning blazes from within a thunderhead north of Walla Walla on Wednesday night.

Under a canopy of stars, lightning blazes from within a thunderhead north of Walla Walla on Wednesday night. Photo by Greg Lehman.

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DAYTON — An overnight deluge closed a stretch of U.S. Highway 12 east of town, authorities said this morning.

Mud and debris choked off two miles of the roadway from the vicinity of Eager Road eastward, said Meagan McFadden, Washington state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The road was closed at 2:15 a.m. and reopened just before 5 a.m. today.

According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms dropped nearly an inch of rain in the Dayton area between about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. today.

A weather station in town measured 0.90 inches of precipitation and gusts up to 35 mph during the storm.

Rainfall amounts apparently varied widely from the storms passing through the region last night and this morning. The weather station at Walla Walla Regional Airport recorded only 0.06 of an inch between midnight and 5 a.m. and a second station in Prescott recorded 0.10 inches.

A low pressure system off the Oregon coast will continue to pump moisture into the region today could produce thunderstorms.

The showers are forecast to taper off Friday, with conditions giving way to partly sunny skies.

Andy Porter can be reached at 526-8318 or andyporter@wwub.com.

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