Flood warnings continue for several Western Washington rivers

Flood warnings continue for several Western Washington rivers

Skokomish River west of Highway 101


by KING 5 News


Posted on January 16, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 17 at 8:26 AM

SEATTLE - Flood warnings are in effect for several counties in Western Washington due to heavy rain and warm temperatures.

The Skokomish, Puyallup, Cowlitz, Carbon, Nisqually, Deschutes, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, Tolt, Newaukum and Green rivers are all under a flood warning, with most rivers reaching flood stage today or tonight. Current flood warnings/watches.

The Snohomish River is expected to crest three feet above flood stage at Monroe and four feet above flood stage at Snohomish early Monday.

People in the Lewis County town of Randle were being advised to evacuate because of the rising Cowlitz River.

Lewis County Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said it is not a forced evacuation.

"Most people in Randle have been through this before and use common sense and will leave when they know the water has met the threshold to endanger themselves," said Brown.

The heaviest rain has been focused over the south central Cascades. Paradise received 4.41 inches in a 24-period.  As of Sunday morning, Hoquiam had more than an inch of rain. Tacoma had a half inch and 3/4 inch in Olympia. Latest forecast

Doug Williams with the King County Flood Warning Center said high flows continue on the Snoqualmie, Tolt and Green rivers.

"With the Snoqualmie River we're at a stage 3 flood alert level. That signifies some moderate flooding along the Snoqualmie Valley," said Williams. "We'll probably see some closed roads, we'll probably see some low-lying areas with some pretty swift water moving across them." King County road conditions

KING 5 forecaster Lisa Van Cise says showers will continue and it will be windy.

"Wind will be a factor again tonight with sustained winds from the south and southwest around 20-30 mph and higher gusts," she said.

Temperatures will remain above normal through the weekend with Western Washington highs in the 50s and Eastern Washington highs in the 30s and 40s.

An avalanche warning is in effect for the Olympics and the Cascades, including the passes.

The risk of landslides continues through Monday morning. The Department of Transportation reported a slide on SR 411 between Kelso and Castle Rock and another on State Route 14 near Cape Horn.

BNSF Railway says passenger service is moving again north of Seattle after a mudslide hit the main tracks just south of the Everett depot.

Spokesman Gus Melonas says that by early Sunday crews had inspected slopes and opened lines for passenger service. Freight trains had resumed earlier.

Melonas says engineers will continue to monitor the track to ensure slope and roadbed stability.

A cold front should dry things out by the middle of the week.