After a day of heavy rain and high winds that prompted evacuations, power outages and a state of emergency for several counties, Western Washington awoke to ongoing flood concerns, scattered roadway reopenings and power coming back throughout the region.
As of 12:30 p.m., around 44,000 customers were without power, down from more than 158,000 customers in the dark at one point Monday afternoon.
The Seattle area forecast calls for showers to taper off Tuesday, with dry conditions during the night and into Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Samantha Borth said Tuesday morning.
As of 12:30 p.m., NWS was recording flooding at seven gauges in the region:
Major flooding was recorded on the Nooksack River at Ferndale and along the Skagit River near Mount Vernon. Moderate flooding was recorded on the Skagit near Concrete. Minor flooding was recorded on the Samish River near Burlington, on the Snohomish River in Snohomish, on the Skokomish River near Potlatch and at Similkameen River near Nighthawk.
North of Bellingham, authorities said one person was still missing Tuesday after being seen in floodwaters clinging to a tree, The Associated Press reported. A motorist in Bellingham was injured when a tree fell on a vehicle, AP reported.
Around 7 p.m. Monday, city officials recommended that West Mount Vernon residents evacuate, saying that flooding threatened areas west of the Division Street Bridge. Evacuation was also recommended for Fir Island and Sterling residents. The evacuation of businesses and residents along Freeway Drive was lifted Thursday morning.
The Skagit River appeared to have crested by 5 a.m. Tuesday, reaching 35.5 feet, according to county officials. In Concrete, the Skagit crested Monday morning at nearly 39 feet, and has since dropped to 33.8 feet.
The Skagit River is expected to drop below flood levels Thursday morning, Borth said.
The Samish River also crested Monday morning at nearly 14 feet and has now dropped to 12.4 feet in the moderate flooding status.
On Monday evening, debris in the Skagit River briefly prevented the NWS gauge from measuring the river levels. Skagit County provided some manual readings before crews were able to make an initial repair later in the evening. Some issues with the gauge continued into Tuesday morning.
Residents were encouraged to evacuate over the Division Street bridge before its closing to stay at a shelter set up at the Bethany Covenant Church. Officials also encouraged people to bring at least three days’ worth of personal supplies. Another shelter was also open at Hamilton First Baptist.
The Bellingham School District canceled class for the second day in a row.
Crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation were able to reopen southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Bellingham, though northbound lanes remained closed by a mudslide.
Meanwhile in King County, the flood warning center closed around 9:30 p.m. Monday.
The center had opened early Sunday morning to monitor minor flooding on the Snoqualmie River, which reached a Phase 3 flood alert level with moderate flooding across the lower Snoqualmie. The Tolt River reached a Phase 2 flood alert level with minor flooding along the river upstream of Carnation.