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Flooding closes several roads across Inland Northwest

Flooding closes several roads across Inland Northwest

Warm temperatures across the Inland Northwest have led to rapidly melting snow and flooding around the region.

There are reports of water over the roadway in Reardan, Davenport, Odessa, Harrington and Colfax.

The Washington State Patrol is reporting several road closures due to water over the roadway as a result of the snowmelt.

In Lincoln County, SR 231 has been closed between Interstate 90 and SR 2. State Route 23 has also been closed between St. John and Sprague. Between Sprague and Harrington SR 23 is open but flooding has been reported in numerous locations along the road and could be closed at any time as of 3:30 p.m.

Water has undercut part of the roadway on SR 27 five miles south of Oakesdale, with part of the northbound lane washed away, but the road remains open.

SR 25 has one lane open north from Davenport.

In Whitman County, water is also reported over the roadway in Colfax.

In Spokane County, water is reported over the roadway on SR 27 three miles north of Latah; water is also over the roadway on State Route 2 two miles west of Airway Heights.

How Colorado residents are coping with legal weed

How Colorado residents are coping with legal weed

From marijuana retail outlets to the Denver Police Department to businesses that are shifting their strategies to take advantage of pot tourism, Colorado's laws on recreational marijuana show what could happen in Washington later this year. But what do Colorado residents think of recreational marijuana?

We took to the streets to find out what people in Colorado are seeing in this land of legal weed, which is the fastest selling product since Denver Broncos gear.

But as look around not everyone is stoned and the air isn't filled with puffs of intoxicating smoke.

"I'd say before our neighbors would smoke sometimes in the yard and that's about the same," Erin Jaramillo said.

To get a better view of what these people say our lives might look like, there's no place in Denver to get a pulse of their concerns than to stop by the appropriately named Washington Park.

"A big change from before and then the medical marijuana so I have to say that was a difference," Jaramillo said.

Washington Legislature studying hemp issue

With recreational marijuana use now legal in Washington, state legislators are discussing whether the state should also launch an industrial hemp industry.

Hemp, like marijuana, comes from the cannabis plant. But it has much less THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that makes people high. The hemp plant also has thousands of industrial uses and could provide a new cash crop for farmers.

The state Senate is considering a bill that would authorize Washington State University to conduct a study of the feasibility and possible value of an industrial hemp industry in Washington.

State residents passed Initiative 502 in 2012, which legalized recreational marijuana and gave new life to the hemp movement.

Arctic air dropping temperatures in Washington

Arctic air dropping temperatures in Washington

Arctic air blowing into the Inland Northwest prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind chill warning for the Spokane region for Wednesday morning.

Forecasters expect temperatures around zero with 10 mph to 20 mph winds, which could create a wind chill of 20 below -- enough to freeze exposed skin.

Forecasters also say cold temperatures could set records in Western Washington between Wednesday and Friday. Highs Wednesday -- when the Seahawks parade in Seattle -- and Thursday are forecast in the 30s. Seattle's record low maximum for Feb. 5 is 34 (1989) and Feb. 6 is 37 (1949).

The Weather Service says the cold should start to ease by the weekend when precipitation arrives, probably starting as snow. Forecasters say temperatures should return to normal next week.

Colorado marijuana stores experience sky high sales

Colorado marijuana stores experience sky high sales

Recreational Marijuana shops are up and running in Colorado. During the first day of sales on Jan. 1, lines wrapped around the corners of stores. Sales have since slowed down, but people who chose to get into the pot business are calling it the best decision of their lives.

Linda Andrews is the owner of Lodo Wellness Center in Downtown Denver. She split her medical pot business into a half recreational, half medical retailer.

"On the first day we did what we usually do in a month for medical," Andrews said.

Many strains of weed are available at Lodo Wellness Center, from Sour Diesel to Durban Poison. The store will often run out of the popular edible products like cookies, brownies, and drinks.

"It's the first time I've been able to impulsively purchase marijuana," Jesse, a customer at the store, said.

The 36 percent tax in Denver keeps some potential clientele away.

"If you want to get rid of a black market, you can't overtax the product, and I think that's what they're doing," Kyle O'Malley, a marijuana user, said.

Though, O'Malley does think that there is peace of mind in buying from a store.

Deep freeze forecast this week in Washington

A cold week is forecast for Washington.

The National Weather Service says low temperatures Tuesday through Friday in Western Washington will be in the teens and highs only in the 20s.

Forecasters say it will be even colder in Eastern Washington with lows in single digits. Light snow is forecast Monday in southeast Washington, but it should be mostly clear through the week statewide.

The Weather Service says precipitation returns to the area Saturday and there's a good chance it will start as snow.