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More river flooding likely as another atmospheric river moves over western Washington

Another atmospheric river will bring heavy rainfall to western Washington Tuesday, prolonging the risk of river flooding.

Editor’s note: This story is no longer being updated. Click here for the latest weather timeline.

SEATTLE- Another atmospheric river will bring more rain to the region Tuesday through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). This system is expected to bring less rainfall to the area than the one over the weekend.

Rainfall amounts for the Northwest Interior lowlands will generally be 0.5-1 inch, with the Olympics and Cascades seeing 2-4 inches. The heaviest rain is expected to be in British Columbia.

Current models show rain tapering off Thursday, with the possibility of additional systems rolling in by next weekend.

Click here to see the radar and current conditions.

The NWS said heavy rain will lead to flooding in low-lying areas and areas with poor drainage. The areas with the highest threat of river flooding include the Skokomish and Bogachiel rivers in the Olympics and the Nooksack, Skagit, Snohomish, Snoqualmie and Stillaguamish rivers in the Cascades from King County northward, according to the NWS. Major flooding is also possible on the Skagit River.

The threat of landslides is especially dangerous since soils will not have enough time to dry out and will remain unstable.

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The NWS has issued a Flood Warning for the following rivers as of Tuesday morning: 

  • Skagit River near Mount Vernon
  • Nooksack River at Ferndale
  • Nooksack River at Everson

The Skagit River near Mount Vernon will be under the Flood Warning until late Tuesday morning, with flooding expected to inundate low-lying roads and some farmlands and residences from Sedro-Woolley to Mount Vernon. 

The Flood Warning for the Nooksack River at Ferndale is expected to last through Tuesday afternoon, with flooding expected in low pasturelands along the river and some roadways within the floodplain.

The Nooksack River at Everson warning will last until 10 a.m. Tuesday despite water levels dropping to the overflow flood stage. The NWS said the Flood Warning will remain in place because flooding will be ongoing until the waters can drain from the system.

The city of Sumas experienced more flooding Monday morning after water bypassed the Cherry Street Bridge. However, the city said it had started to notice the floodwaters receding Monday afternoon.

Erosion may affect some river banks, according to the NWS. It may also overflow levees and banks from Hovander Park in Ferndale downstream.

These weather systems aren't expected to be nearly as severe as the one that caused historic flooding in Whatcom and Skagit counties Nov. 16-17. Floodwaters damaged more than 80% of the homes in Sumas, and communities are still recovering. Last week, emergency management officials assessed the damage in Whatcom County to prepare to apply for federal disaster relief.

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