Josh Myers, 17, carries his sister Nicole, 15, through floodwaters in downtown Snoqualmie.
Thousands of western Washington state residents were primed to evacuate their homes Thursday amid heavy flooding along the region’s rivers and streams.
A state emergency management official offered a silver lining or two, saying some rivers haven’t flooded as badly as expected. But the flooding in western Washington is a danger, a situation has been exacerbated by unseasonably high temperatures that have caused a lot of snow to melt.
“It’s a very significant event,” said Dana Felton, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle.
He said the steady rainfall that has brought around 15 inches of rain over the last two days to some regions has come to an end. He said cooler air is moving in, and there will be some light rain that won’t affect waterways.
Kyle Herman, Washington State Emergency Management spokesman, said eight cities are on a voluntary evacuation status.
– Flooding forces evacuations, closes highways, mountain passes (Seattle Times)
– Melting snow causes heavy flooding in Wash. state (AP):
“More than 30,000 people were told to leave their homes….” (NY Daily News)
– Washington residents flee as rivers swell (MSNBC)
They are Orting, Packwood, Randle, Stanwood, Snoqualmie, Naselle, Fife, and parts of Tacoma — areas amounting to roughly 25,000 people. He said there are 20 local emergency declarations in various communities that were prompted by the recent heavy snowfall and rain.