March storm brings landslides, threat of flooding

Print
Email
|

by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 9:33 PM

A rainy night in Western Washington is leading to concerns over flooding and mudslides in Western Washington, with rivers flowing off the Olympics and Central Cascades at most risk.

KING 5 Meteorologist Jim Guy says steady rain will taper to showers between 9-11 p.m. Wednesday night. It will be windy at times with southerly winds 15-25 mph with higher gusts at times. Lows will be in the mid to upper 40s. Current conditions

"Right now it appears the strongest winds will be along the coast, with gusts of 40+ along the north and central coast, and up to 60 mph along the south Washington coast," said Guy.

The rain and high snow levels may combine to cause some river flooding through Friday.

A Flood Warning has been issued for the Skokomish River in Mason County for minor flooding. Also, a Phase 2 Flood Alert has been issued for the Tolt, Green and Snoqualmie rivers for minor flooding as well. Expect lowland flooding on some roads and fields.

"We'll also have to watch for the possibility of mudslides, standing water on the roadways and an increased danger of avalanches over the Cascades and Olympics," said Guy.

The saturated ground and rainy conditions caused a mudslide that knocked a house off its foundation in Algona. The home was unoccupied and no injuries were reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey monitors landslide risks.  A graph shows cumulative precipitation threshold for landslides.

Snow levels will remain near 6,000 feet, so the passes will just see rain. Two to five inches of rain are possible over the south-southwest facing slopes of the Olympics and the North Central Cascades in the 24-hour period between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon.

An avalanche warning is in effect through Wednesday for the west slopes of the Cascades. The Northwest Avalanche Center says this does not apply to developed ski areas.

Check the latest traffic conditions anytime with the Seattle Traffic App and weather with the Seattle Weather App.

Print
Email
|