Flooding Western Washington rivers cresting

Flooding Western Washington rivers cresting

Credit: KING

Heavy rains led to flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012.

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 8:10 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 22 at 5:42 PM

SEATTLE – Three to 7 inches of rain in the Cascades and melting snow overflowed some Western Washington rivers, but the National Weather Service said they'd be cresting Wednesday and returning to their banks.

Forecasters say a cold front moving into the state will drop the freezing level from as high as 6,000 feet to around 2,500 feet, holding precipitation in the mountains as snow.

A flood warning remains in effect Wednesday for the Snohomish, Skykomish, Pilchuck, Snoqualmie and Puyallup rivers. Flood watches remain and other rivers flowing off the Cascades.

King County reported that planned water releases from the Howard Hanson Dam brought the Green River up to a Phase 3 flood alert level Wednesday afternoon. 

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On the Snoqualmie River, the National Weather Service predicted moderate flooding of farmland and low-lying roads from the town of Snoqualmie downstream through the towns of Fall City, Carnation and Duvall.  Minor flooding is forecast on the other rivers.

A flood watch is in effect through Thursday afternoon for most other rivers in Western Washington draining off the Cascades and western Olympics in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Jefferson, Clallam and Grays Harbor counties.

Stevens Pass remained closed was expected to remain closed until Wednesday afternoon due to avalanche concerns. Snoqualmie Pass was closed for 11 hours Tuesday for the same reason.

The rain contributed to a mudslide on the railroad tracks used by Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter train – something regular Sounder riders have become accustomed to during heavy rain. All Wednesday morning Sounder service between Everett and Seattle was canceled, but Sound Transit used buses to get passengers to their destinations.

A slide in Stanwood destroyed one home and damaged others.

A report that a mudslide had wiped out half a cemetery in Arlington turned out to be inaccurate. The slide covered Cemetery Road in Arlington.

Latest forecast

KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott said South Bend received more than 7 inches of rain over a 24-hour period ending early Wednesday morning while areas around Seattle only received about 0.1 inch. The mountains received 2 to 6 inches of rain.

The steady rain is expected to turn to off-and-on showers and the winds will decrease. Highs should be in the mid-to-upper 40s.

Check the forecast for your city
 
Thursday should be drier. Another system of rain is expected Friday, but not as intense as the past couple of days. There is still the possibility of a rain/snow mix in the 500-1,000 foot range on Sunday.

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