December 13, 2010 in Region

Flooded Western Washington rivers cresting

Associated Press
 
Joshua Trujillo photo

Chelsea Morris empties water from her boots after walking through her flooded neighborhood in Granite Falls, Wash. on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010. Near record rainfall caused many Western Washington rivers to rise above flood stage.
(Full-size photo)

Flood warnings

Flood warnings remained in effect on the Skykomish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Chehalis, Skokomish, Satsop, Nooksack, Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers.

SEATTLE — Record rains that hit Western Washington over the weekend have eased, and rivers that flooded roads and houses are on their way down or cresting, the National Weather Service said today.

Flood warnings remained in effect on the Skykomish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Chehalis, Skokomish, Satsop, Nooksack, Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers.

No deaths have been reported. Most damage has been from landslides and minor flooding in valleys and in some residential and urban areas.

The Snohomish River northeast of Seattle was expected to cause major flooding of roads and farmlands in low-lying areas. The river was forecast to crest this afternoon and fall below flood stage Tuesday morning.

A few homes were hit by landslides near Seattle and in the central Puget Sound area. In Kitsap County south of Bremerton, about 200 homes were isolated when a large chunk of the only road into the remote rural area collapsed atop a culvert Sunday afternoon, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The next front to move into the Northwest Tuesday won’t be as wet, said meteorologist Dustin Guy at the Seattle Weather Service office.

“The overall direction is things will be improving through the day. We’re sort of between systems,” he said.

The snow level dropping to 2,000 will slow the runoff from the mountains. A winter storm watch is in effect through Tuesday for a foot of new snow in the Cascades.

Low temperatures by the end of the week are forecast in the 30s in Western Washington and below freezing in Eastern Washington.

The rainfall Sunday set a record of 2.19 inches at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, breaking the record for the date set in 1966 — 1.7 inches, the National Weather Service reported. The overall one-day record for the airport is more than 5 inches, Guy said.

Other records set Sunday were 1.8 inches at Olympia, 1.61 inches at Bellingham, 1.18 inches at Port Angeles, 1.92 inches at Renton, and 3.1 inches at Shelton.

Some overall two-day storm totals were 5.59 inches at Shelton, 5.56 inches at Bremerton, 3.6 inches at Sea-Tac, 2.24 inches at Bellingham, 1.28 inches at Everett and more than 11 inches of rain at Quinault on the Olympic Peninsula.

Snohomish County was one of the areas hardest area hit by flooding with dozens of homes damaged in Granite Falls, Arlington and Stanwood. The Red Cross opened a shelter Sunday at a church in Stanwood.

Mudslides that hit Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks have suspended Amtrak service in Seattle until Tuesday, although freight trains are running.

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