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FLOOD FORECAST SHOWS SKYKOMISH NOT HEADED FOR MAJOR FLOODING IN VALLEY
December 12, 2010
(MONROE, WA) -- The hydrograph (measure of water flow) gauging water flow on the Skykomish River at Gold Bar does not suggest major flooding along the Sky is imminent, according to the Nat’l Weather Service.
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That report as of about 3:00 pm Sunday, with conditions subject to change.
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As you can see on the graph the “starting to flood stage” on the Skykomish is 15 feet, and as of Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm the flows are forecast to rise to just over 17 feet sometime Monday and then begin to recede back down to normal levels.
Below are the flood stages starting at 15 feet on the Skykomish and what they relate to in terms of localized flooding in the Sky Valley.
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.
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.
Major flooding does not begin until a flood stage of 19 feet is reached, as is shown below.
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.
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.
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 the program 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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