Rivers begin cresting in Western Washington, but some flooding remains


by KING 5 News


Posted on January 18, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 18 at 2:01 PM

SEATTLE - Flood warnings remained in effect for numerous rivers and small streams in Western Washington Tuesday morning.

Flood warnings continue for the Cedar, Green, Cowlitz, Chehalis, Nooksack, Skagit, Snohomish and Snoqualmie rivers.

Minor to moderate flooding on the Cedar River, currently under a Phase 4 flood alert, is expected through at least Wednesday. The high water has closed the Cedar River Trail through downtown Renton.

Along the Cedar River in Maple Valley, neighbors say King County has told them the dam on the Chester Morris Reservoir upstream is at full capacity. In addition, log jams on some smaller bridges threaten to back the river up. 

The Snohomish River crested around 31 feet early this morning. Water was edging closer to buildings, and Snohomish County officials were focusing on potential landslides, any damage to levees and eroding roads.

The Skagit River has crested and was last reported at 29 feet, about a foot above flood stage. The Army Corps of Engineers is making "emergency repairs" on damaged dikes along the Skagit River, but they report no breech of the levee.

The Green River, upstream of Auburn, is expected to crest at 4 p.m. today. Current flood warnings/watches.

Many roads across the region are flooded or washed out, prompting authorities to remind drivers not to attempt to cross flooded roads. King County road conditions

After a weekend of soaking rains, the area is drying out a bit. Snow levels will drop to 1,500 feet, which will also help reduce the flooding. Check the latest forecast

KING 5 Meteorologist Jim Guy says high pressure will build in on Wednesday for a partly to mostly sunny and dry day after some patchy morning fog. It will be little cooler with highs in the low to mid 40s.

On Thursday, a warm front to spread increasing rain over the area.  Rain will continue at times on Friday.

"It now looks like high pressure will build back in over the weekend, giving us partly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday after a little morning fog each day," said Guy.

We may see a little rain towards the middle of next week, but overall computer models indicate a quiet weather pattern out for the next two weeks, Guy said.