Washington gov. declares weather emergency

10 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The Latest: Women Drowns After Car Ends Up in Floodwaters.

SEATTLE — Gov. This NOAA satellite image taken Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, shows a large precipitation shield moving into the Pacific Northwest just ahead of a complex frontal system located to the west of British Columbia. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in Washington Wednesday after days of heavy rain caused rivers to rise, flooding and landslides across the western part of the state. Mostly clear skies and fair weather are dominating the Central Plains just behind a deep upper level trough that is advancing through the Mississippi River Valley. (The Associated Press) A small RV park near the Puyallup River in Washington state was evacuated on Wednesday morning as floodwaters stranded several recreational vehicles and small cars. The flooded park was just down the river from the area where seven people in a riverbank homeless camp were swept into the water and later rescued Wednesday morning.

While the heavy rains have eased up, rivers are still raging across the Northwest and safety is a top concern as water flows down mountains into already swollen rivers. Engineers were waiting until daylight Thursday to evaluate the stability of the hillside, according to Bart Treece of the Washington Department of Transportation. The declaration also directs the Washington Military Department to coordinate state response activities and can be used to activate the Washington National Guard if necessary. Spokeswoman Summer Derrey says crews are waiting for safe conditions Wednesday before going in to assess the damage and determine how to make repairs.

Several Washington state school districts are either closed or getting late starts Wednesday because of a rain and wind storm that is starting to subside. The mayor of Hamilton in Skagit County was asking for voluntary evacuations to high ground with the Skagit River expected to crest 10 feet above flood stage. An elderly care center in McKenna was preparing for possible evacuations because of concerns engineers may have to release more water than normal from the Alder Dam on the Nisqually River.

Puget Sound Energy, the largest electrical utility in western Washington, has restored power to about 60,000 customers and reported fewer than 17,000 power outages as of 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, including the Snohomish River near Monroe and Snohomish, the Snoqualmie River near the falls and Carnation, the Cedar River in Renton, and the Green River near Auburn. Nothing like we’ve seen yesterday or the day before,” said Renner. “Over much of the Puget Sound area, a couple tenths of an inch of rain and heavier rainfall over the mountains; even there we’re talking 1-2 inches.” Winds will begin to pick up in the early morning hours in the central Puget Sound area, the foothills and south of Olympia. Sea-Tac Airport, where the official weather for Seattle is recorded, picked up 2.13 inches of rain Tuesday, beating the old Dec. 8 record of 1.61 inches.

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