Historic flooding underway in parts of western Washington

Rivers are rising to historic levels in the northern Puget Sound region and on the Olympic Peninsula on Monday afternoon as an atmospheric river battered the northern Strait in the past two days. A cold front is sweeping the region today, bringing strong gusts of wind and heavy rain.

The Skagit River is one of many rivers expected to reach record levels. The Skagit River is at a “major” flood stage this afternoon and is expected to peak over 37.5 feet on Tuesday morning, breaking the all-time record of 37.4 feet set in 1990. Others Rivers in Whatcom and Skagit counties are experiencing major flooding. problems this afternoon, with homes and businesses underwater and rescues underway.

Wind is also a problem this afternoon as the cold front crosses the region. Wind gusts reached destructive speeds in western Washington today, leaving downed trees and tens of thousands of people without power. Gusts in the northern strait peaked between 50 and 60 mph at 1:15 p.m. The central and southern strait recorded barely strong gusts in a few areas.

Later in the day the winds will start to subside and you will notice more freshness in the air as the cold air takes over. The showers will persist, especially in the area of ​​the convergence zone.

Snow levels will drop considerably later today and tonight, bringing several inches of snow to the Cascades, especially the higher passes.

From Tuesday to next weekend it will be cooler, with highs in the mid-1940s at around 50 °. The extended period looks drier than wetter, with the next round of widespread rain looming through Thursday afternoon.

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Ethel Nester

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