Flood warnings extend into Tuesday as region wrings out

Flood warnings extend into Tuesday as region wrings out »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Flood warnings have been extended for many rivers in Western Washington after days of heavy rains sent water spilling over the banks of several rivers this weekend, and one death was blamed on the stormy weather.

A man ran into trouble Monday night near Duvall when he tried to reach his home by raft after his street flooded.

Officials said the man was trying to get dry clothes to his family at home when his raft got stuck in trees near 268th NE and State Route 203 just after 9 p.m.

The man was able to hang on to trees and call 911. Rescuers reached the man by boat and took him to shore

"I just got stuck about a hundred feet out there. I just got lucky and got a hold of the tree before I floated out into those fields," said the rescued man, Ray Weiss. "My friends have been taking boats across this water. I had a little bit of bad luck. I couldn't tell how high the water was."

The man was not injured.

A veteran Washington State Department of Transportation worker was killed when he was hit by a falling tree near Carnation during a rain storm late Sunday.

In Fall City, Wash., two people were rescued unharmed after they drove their car into a flooded road.

Officials said the couple was going to pick up their dog from an animal shelter when their vehicle got stuck in the high water.

Most rivers will only see minor flooding, but potentially major flooding was forecast for the Snohomish and Snoqualmie Rivers.

The floodwaters forced crews to close several roads in east King County along the Snoqualmie River, which is expected to crest about 11 a.m.

"Flooding could wind down as early as Monday morning in some areas, but others may not see that until Tuesday," since it takes time for water to flow through some of the bigger rivers, said Dennis D'Amico, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The King County Flood Warning Center said the Cedar River was at a Phase IV flood alert Monday morning, which could bring widespread flooding in low-lying areas along the river.

Major flooding was also occurring along the Snohomish River near Monroe and Snohomish. The river was expected to hold above flood stage until Tuesday afternoon near Monroe and until Wednesday morning near Snohomish.

Along the Skykomish River, water came within a few feet of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line, prompting the railroad to halt trains about two miles west of Skykomish. Spokesman Gus Melonas says inspectors halted trains as a precaution about 9 a.m. Monday. About 20 freight and Amtrak trains use the route each day between Spokane and Everett.

Melonas says the railroad is bringing in 35 rail cars, each carrying 30 tons of rock, to stabilize the rail bed. Melonas says officials expect trains will be able to resume running Monday afternoon. Inspectors will continue to monitor conditions. All other BNSF tracks in Washington are open.

The Skagit River was also experiencing moderate flooding in the Sedro-Woolley to Mount Vernon corridor. The river crested Monday morning near Concrete, but wasn't expect to crest until late Monday evening near Mount Vernon, with a flood warning there in effect until Tuesday evening.

The Stillaguamish River is also expected to flood once again with this current storm. In December, the river set a record high flood level, but this time around, the river was only expected to crest a few inches over flood state and should recede back into its banks by early Monday afternoon.

In Lewis County, emergency personnel were going door to door in low-lying areas of Randle on Sunday to notify residents they should evacuate their homes due to expected flooding on the Cowlitz River. Evacuations were recommended in parts of Packwood as well. That river crested Monday morning but will remain over flood stage until Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities weren't sure whether the Cowlitz would rise high enough to flood homes, but the evacuations were recommended as a precaution.

All rivers should crest by Monday evening and fall back below flood stage by Tuesday afternoon.

A Calmer Weather Pattern In Store

The worst is over as far as adding more water to the river system, as the heavy rains have tapered off and snow levels are continuing to fall. In fact, most of the region will be dry Monday night into Tuesday. A few weaker weather systems are expected at times through the weekend, but overall, the pattern looks quite uneventful.