SEATTLE – Although flooding forecast to threaten parts of the US Northwest doesn’t end too badly on Sunday, weather officials warn residents to stay vigilant as more rain is on its way to the region. There was standing water due to inclement weather earlier this month.
“There is some good news and some pending news,” said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.
The weather agency on Saturday warned that flooding is possible through Sunday in northwest Washington, but an atmospheric river – a huge amount of moisture that extends across the Pacific Ocean and into the Northwest – has moved further north into Canada than expected overnight.
“The effects weren’t quite as bad as we expected overnight,” Reedy said.
After a period of respite, rain poured into the area again late Sunday, he said, with some “disturbing flooding” likely, and rivers could start to rise again by the afternoon, he said.
“The flooding won’t be as bad as we expected 24 hours ago, but it looks like some of the rivers up there could experience mild, maybe even moderate, flooding,” Reedy said.
The big question is how some communities, those that have been severely damaged by the previous storm, will function.
People in the small communities of Sumas and Everson in northwest Washington were asked to evacuate voluntarily on Saturday night, The Bellingham Herald reported. Both towns near the border with Canada suffered severe flooding caused by the previous storm.
Officials in Sumas said the Nooksack River had not yet flowed past its banks in Everson as of Sunday morning, the newspaper reported, but the river was expected to still flow into the afternoon.
A widespread flood warning for western Washington was in effect until Monday morning. There are also flood warnings for some local rivers.
Reedy warned against driving into standing water on the road near a river.
“It doesn’t take a lot of water to push your car – or truck,” he says. “Some people think that just because they have a big truck they can cross. Not always.”
While rain will subside on Monday, another system will head for the area starting Tuesday and spilling over into Wednesday, Reedy said.
“On the bright side of things, things still look the same as after we entered Wednesday, conditions looked dry after the second half of the week,” he said. “So hopefully there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.”