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FEATURE NEWS

A WILD PINEAPPLE
EXPRESS WEEKEND!
Snohomish, Skykomish & other rivers
head for major flooding
Minor flooding, Skykomish at Gold Bar
Tolt River, King County moves
to Phase 3 flood level

January 16, 2011




THIS GRAPH NOW OUTDATED. PLEASE SEE OTHER GRAPHS BELOW.


HISTORICAL CRESTS ON SNOHOMISH RIVER. CLICK TO ENLARGE


Snohomish County Flood Warning System Chart. CLICK TO ENLARGE


A 3,000- to 4,000-cubic-yard, 150-ft landslide blocked both lanes of SR 112 in north Clallam County, cutting off access to the Makah Indian Nation from 7 p.m. Jan. 14, 2011 to about 4:15 p.m. Jan. 15. Photo: WSDOT CLICK TO ENLARGE
(SNOHOMISH, WA) -- The latest version of the famous “Pineapple Express” series of storm systems is forecast to do a major number on many Western Washington rivers including the Skykomish and Snohomish here in the Sky Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

At just before 6:30 a.m. Sunday the National Weather Service in Seattle issued a Flood Warning for small streams in central Snohomish County, scheduled to be in effect through 6:15 p.m. Monday

FLOOD WARNING: Heavy rain in the Cascades of Snohomish County will cause major flooding on the Snohomish river beginning late today (Sunday) and continuing tonight.

The heavy rain is also likely to cause flooding along small streams and minor tributaries of the Snohomish and Skykomish rivers.

A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow and flash flooding is not expected. However all interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.

Note: As of 2:00 p.m. Sunday there was already moderate flooding reported along the Skykomish River at Gold Bar. Moderate Flood Stage is 17.0 feet and the river was running at 17.16 feet at 1:00 p.m.

Precautionary/preparedness actions: Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. Move to higher ground.

Please email Chronicle your flood photos and URL's to videos to: newstip@skyvalleychronicle.com

SPECIFICS ON RIVERS

LEWIS COUNTY EVACUATIONS SUNDAY: Emergency personnel were going door to door in sections of Randle and Packwood in Lewis County Sunday advising residents they should leave their homes – as a precautionary measure - due to expected flooding on the Cowlitz River.

Flood Warning for Snohomish river near Monroe from this (Sunday) afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. At 5:30 am Sunday the stage was 10.6 feet and Flood stage is 15.0 feet.

Major flooding is forecast. Forecast: the river will rise above flood stage around 3 PM Sunday and crest near 17.6 feet around 4 am Monday. The river will fall below flood stage early Tuesday morning.

Impact: at 17.0 feet the Snohomish river will cause major flooding inundating farm land, roads and some residential areas.

Levees will likely suffer damage. Flooding will occur all along the river including headwaters, tributaries, and other streams within and near the Snohomish river Basin.

A stage of 17 feet at this location corresponds to phase 2 in the Snohomish County Flood Warning system.

Flood Warning for the Snohomish river at Snohomish from this (Sunday) afternoon to late Tuesday night. At 5:30 am Sunday the stage was 21.3 feet. Flood stage is 25.0 feet. Major flooding is forecast.

Forecast: the river will rise above flood stage around 3 PM Sunday and crest near 29.6 feet around 10 am Monday. The river will fall below flood stage Tuesday afternoon.

Impact: at 29.0 feet the Snohomish river will flood low farm lands and several roads including Riverview Road and the Snohomish-Monroe Highway.

Hide tidal levels could worsen flooding on the lower Delta and Ebey Island. Flooding will occur all along the river including headwaters, tributaries and other streams within and near the Snohomish river Basin.

Flood Warning for the Skykomish River near Gold Bar from today (Sunday) morning to Late Monday Night.

At 1:30am Sunday the Stage was 11.2 Feet. Flood Stage is 15.0 Feet. Minor Flooding is Forecast.

Forecast: the River will Rise Above Flood Stage around 9am Sunday and Crest near 16.9 Feet around 4pm Sunday. The River will Fall Below Flood Stage Monday Evening.

Impact: at 16.0 Feet, the Skykomish River will Cause Minor Flooding of Low Pasture Lands and Some Roads Along the River Including Ben Howard Road, Index - Galena Rd and Tualco Loop Rd.

Flood Warning for the Stillaguamish river at Arlington from Sunday morning to late Monday night. At 5:54 am Sunday the stage was 11.9 feet. Flood stage is 14.0 feet. Minor flooding is forecast.

Forecast the river will rise above flood stage around 10 am Sunday and crest near 15.8 feet around 4 am Monday. The river will fall below flood stage Monday afternoon.

Impact: at 14.0 feet the Stillaguamish river will locally spill over its banks. Minor flooding around Silvana will occur including over Pioneer Highway.

Flood Warning for the South Fork Stillaguamish river near Granite Falls from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning. At 5:30 am Sunday the stage was 11.6 feet. Flood stage is 14.0 feet. Minor flooding is forecast.

Forecast: the river will rise above flood stage around 4 PM Sunday and crest near 14.2 feet around 10 PM Sunday. The river will fall below flood stage tonight.

Impact: at 14.0 feet the South Fork Stillaguamish river will cause flooding along the river and tributaries.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

NEW AS OF 11:23 A.M. 01/16 11

TOLT RIVER, KING COUNTY MOVES TO PHASE 3 FLOOD LEVEL


King County opened its Flood Warning Center early Sunday morning to monitor rising flows on several King County rivers.

As of 10:30 a.m., the Tolt River was flowing at 4,510 cubic feet per second (CFS), which exceeds the threshold of 4,500 CFS for a Phase III flood alert level.

Typically, moderate flooding would be observed along the Tolt River at these flows.

Meanwhile, the sum of the Snoqualmie River’s three forks was at 31,430 CFS, which correlates to a Phase III flood alert.

At this flow level, flooding of varied depths is expected to occur across the Snoqualmie Valley, and numerous roads could overtop and close.

Also, controlled water releases from Howard Hanson Dam are expected to bring the Green River to a Phase III flood alert level sometime midday Sunday.

At that level, the only likely flooding impacts would occur in the rural areas without levees upstream of Auburn.

Flood Warning Center staff continues to monitor stream gauges and weather reports and will move further alerts as conditions warrant.

A DELUGE OF WATER

Almost all rivers in Western Washington are on a flood watch (or now flood warning) due the deluge of rain the past week and the last few days which have soaked the ground like a large wet sponge increasing the risk of landslides and mudslides as well as flooding on local rivers.

The U.S. Army Corps of engineers has its Emergency Operations Center at 24-hour operation level and the corps is moving its flood fight teams into certain areas such as the Snohomish, Green, White, Yakima and Chehalis River basins.

As of early Sunday morning flood teams were on alert for the Nooksack and Skagit basins.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

MUDSLIDES

For a time a large mudslide blocked both lanes of Highway 112 near the Makah Reservation in Clallam County. One lane was expected to be reopened by about 5 p.m. Saturday evening and both lanes were expected to be up and running by late Sunday sometime.

Another mudslide was blocking the West Valley Highway Eeast in Sumner, WA. Officials said the highway would remain closed between 24th Street on the north end up to Sumner Heights Drive on the south end most likely through Tuesday morning.

For the latest King County road closures check here

An avalanche warning is in effect Saturday night through Sunday for the Olympics and the Cascades, including the passes.

Further reports will move on SkyValleyChronicle.com as conditions warrant.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

FLOOD STAGES on Skykomish River @ Goldbar – What They Mean

22.0      FEET
...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE SEVERE...NEAR RECORD FLOODING FROM INDEX DOWNSTREAM TO MONROE. THE RIVER WILL FLOOD MANY HOMES...COVER MUCH OF THE FARMLAND...CLOSE MOST ROADS AND OVERTOP MOST DIKES. FLOODING WILL OCCUR ALL ALONG THE RIVER INCLUDING HEADWATERS...TRIBUTARIES...AND OTHER STREAMS WITHIN AND NEAR THE SKYKOMISH RIVER BASIN. A STAGE OF 22 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 4 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

21.0      FEET...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE MAJOR FLOODING FROM NEAR INDEX DOWNSTREAM THROUGH SULTAN TO THE SNOQUALMIE RIVER CONFLUENCE. DEEP AND SWIFT FLOOD WATERS WILL INUNDATE ROADS...RESIDENTIAL AREAS...AND FARM LAND. EXTENSIVE BANK EROSION IS LIKELY. FLOODING WILL OCCUR ALL ALONG THE RIVER INCLUDING HEADWATERS...TRIBUTARIES...AND OTHER STREAMS WITHIN AND NEAR THE SKYKOMISH RIVER BASIN. A STAGE OF 21 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 4 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

19.0      FEET...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE MAJOR FLOODING FROM NEAR INDEX DOWNSTREAM THROUGH SULTAN TO THE SNOQUALMIE. FLOOD WATERS WILL INUNDATE PORTIONS OF DOWNTOWN SULTAN...MOST ROADS AND THE TUALCO VALLEY AREA NEAR MONROE. FLOODING WILL OCCUR ALL ALONG THE RIVER INCLUDING HEADWATERS...TRIBUTARIES...AND OTHER STREAMS WITHIN AND NEAR THE SKYKOMISH RIVER BASIN. A STAGE OF 19 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 4 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

17.0      FEET...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE FLOODING FROM NEAR INDEX DOWNSTREAM THROUGH SULTAN TO THE SNOQUALMIE. FLOOD WATERS WILL COVER NUMEROUS ROADS...INCLUDING BEN HOWARD RD...INDEX-GALENA RD AND TUALCO LOOP RD. FLOODING IN THE TOWN OF SULTAN WILL BEGIN. A STAGE OF 17 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 3 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

16.0      FEET...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE MINOR FLOODING OF LOW PASTURE LANDS AND SOME ROADS ALONG THE RIVER...INCLUDING BEN HOWARD ROAD...INDEX-GALENA RD AND TUALCO LOOP RD. A STAGE OF 16 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 3 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

15.0      FEET...THE SKYKOMISH RIVER WILL CAUSE MINOR FLOODING OF LOW PASTURE LANDS AND LOW LYING ROADS...INCLUDING INDEX-GALENA RD AND TUALCO LOOP RD. A STAGE OF 15 FEET ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER CORRESPONDS TO A PHASE 2 IN THE SNOHOMISH COUNTY FLOOD PROGRAM.

THE BIG FLOOD OF 2006

The historic flood of November 6, 2006 that inundated the Skykomish River Valley will long be remembered as one of the most dramatic flood events in the valley.

Some accounts described it as the worst flooding in 50 years. Normally the Skykomish River at Gold Bar flows at a rate of 700 to 1,000 cubic feet per second (CFS). At the peak of the flood event on November 6, 2006 the mighty Skykomish was raging at over 100,000 CFS. Translation: that is a freight train comin' your way son.

Basic flood stage on the Skykomish is 15 feet and on the morning of November 6, 2006 local officials were warned to expect a 19-foot flood event. However a second warning came later that day alerting them to expect a 26-foot flood stage event.

The Skykomish River eventually peaked at around 24 feet at Gold Bar, a full 9 feet above flood stage. The previous great flood event of November 24, 1990 reached "only" a crest of 22.49 feet.

A stage of 22 feet on the Skykomish River corresponds to a Phase 4 in the Snohomish County flood program and four is as high up as that baby goes.

During a phase four flood event in Snohomish County all agencies respond in anticipation of major flooding and widespread damage. Flood warnings are reported to police, fire departments, schools, other agencies, and news media.


















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