After a week of downpours and widespread flooding, the Puget Sound region is forecast to see a short break from the deluge — and potentially some sun.
The region braced on Friday evening for powerful winds up to 50 mph that were expected to whip through Seattle, bringing a burst of rain, but National Weather Service meteorologist Art Gaebel said he expects to see calmer weather and patches of sunlight this weekend.
The wind gusts were expected to bring significantly cooler air from the west and lower snow levels to about 3,000 feet, according to the weather service.
Then on Saturday morning, Gaebel said, we should expect some sun breaks and high temperatures of 50 degrees through Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday could see some showers, but “nothing compared to the last couple of days,” he said. Thursday and Friday should be cloudy, but dry.
“You’re going to see some peeks of sun [this weekend],” he said.
Though flooded rivers will drain slowly over the next few days, some won’t get below flood stage until early next week.
Days of steady rain this week prompted flood warnings for many rivers around Western Washington, including the Pilchuck River near Snohomish, the Tolt and the Puyallup. Residents of the Nisqually Delta area of Thurston County were urged to evacuate. Saturated soils elevated the risk of landslides. Throughout the Puget Sound region, streets were flooded, cars were stalled, homes were evacuated and public transit routes were canceled.
Several school districts, including Issaquah and Lake Washington, started classes late Friday because of flooding.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation for 20 Washington counties: King, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla and Whatcom.
King County Executive Dow Constantine also signed a local emergency proclamation Thursday in response to the severe flooding, landslides and other damage from the heavy rain. The proclamation allows county staff to speed up response and turnaround times for departments that need to make repairs, a statement from his office said.
Flooding at Issaquah Creek forced about 200 residents to evacuate, marking the highest flood level the creek has hit in 32 years, according to the United States Geological Survey. The last time flooding in Issaquah came close to rivaling this week’s events was in 2009, the city tweeted Thursday evening.
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