Flood watches are issued in Northwest, and some are urged to evacuate

Washington residents were prepared for flooding after "atmospheric river" threatened areas of the Northwest. The Northwest suffered heavy damage earlier in the month from extreme weather.

Flood watches are issued in Northwest, and some are urged to evacuate

The Bellingham Herald reported that Sumas and Everson were asking residents to evacuate their small communities in northwest Washington. Extreme flooding was experienced in both towns close to the Canadian border.

A road closure alert was issued in an emergency advising that roads could be closed in the area as early as Sunday morning.

Flood watches were issued for large parts of Washington's west and north-central Washington this weekend. The National Weather Service warned of flooding through Sunday.

Over the weekend, heavy rains and rising rivers were also forecast in the Cascade Mountains in the middle of the state as well as the Olympic Mountains near the coast.

"We expect rivers to rise and possibly flooding in some places by early tomorrow morning," Gary Schneider (a National Weather Service meteorologist at Seattle's office) said Saturday morning. "Right now there is no river flooding."

Schneider stated that flooding would most likely occur Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Forecasters predict that an atmospheric river, a massive plume of moisture stretching over the Pacific and into Northwest could bring about 3 inches (7.6 cm) of rain in areas affected by recent flooding.

The state still estimates that millions of dollars were damaged by the storm. This was also due to an atmospheric river.

Officials in Whatcom County in northwest Washington said that damage costs could rise to $50 million.

The U.S.-Canada border was closed in Sumas, and three bridges were destroyed in Bellingham by the last floods. Interstate 5 south of Bellingham was also blocked by landslides.

Schneider stated that the weekend's atmospheric river event shouldn't be as severe as the one earlier in this month.

"It's still going be a pretty decent rainfall event, but (the flooding this month was kind of a historic event. Schneider stated that Schneider is not anticipating a repeat of this.

According to meteorologists, the rain will recede on Sunday and Monday should remain dry.

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Sara Cline is a member of the corps for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America, a non-profit national service program, places journalists in local newsrooms so they can report on undercovered topics.

Updated Date: 28 November 2021, 14:49

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