I was suppose to be off duty Monday (18 Dec 17), but a coworker called-in sick.
Just before 8 AM, I was about to grab my breakfast when we got the first phone call reporting the derailment of what turned out to be Amtrak #501.
We activated our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) within several minutes. Shortly afterwards, our local news agencies were running continuous coverage, and about 20 minutes later, the incident made national news.
Initially, the Seattle Times reported several dead after Amtrak train, traveling over 80 mph derailed from a bridge on to I-5.
Due to the constricted terrain around the "I-5 Corridor" traffic detours were circuitous routes that had commuters travelling miles out of their way and caused backups on country roads and city streets. I was lucky in that it only took me 20 extra minutes to get home that night.
Yesterday, it was determined that the Amtrak train was travelling over 50 mph over the limit when it derailed at the curve over I-5.
I-5 Southbound will remain closed as NTSB continues its investigation.