Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2021 | 12:19
Updated 16 minutes ago
Washington residents braced for possible flooding as “atmospheric rivers” once again threatened parts of the northwest, which suffered heavy damage from extreme weather earlier this month.
Flood watches were issued for much of western and north-central Washington for the weekend, and the National Weather Service warned that flooding was possible through Sunday in the northwest from Washington.
Heavy rains and river flooding were also expected over the weekend in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.
“We expect rivers to increase and possible flooding in some places by tomorrow morning,” Gary Schneider, meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Seattle, said Saturday morning. “At the moment, there is no river flooding in progress.”
Schneider said if flooding were to occur, it would likely occur on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Forecasters say an atmospheric river – a huge moisture plume spanning the Pacific and into the northwest – could bring up to 7.6 centimeters (3 inches) of rain in some areas affected by recent floods.
The state still assesses the damage caused by the last atmospheric rivers at millions of dollars.
In Whatcom County in northwest Washington state, officials said damage costs could reach $ 50 million.
The latest flooding has closed the Canada-U.S. Border in the small town of Sumas and three bridges in Bellingham, with landslides blocking Interstate 5 south of Bellingham.
This weekend’s atmospheric riverine event is not expected to be as “severe” as it was earlier this month, Schneider said.
“It will still be a pretty decent rain event, but (the floods earlier this month) was kind of a historic event. So we don’t expect a repeat of this, ”said Schneider.
Meteorologists predict that the rain will subside on Sunday and that Monday should be relatively dry.
Sara Cline is a member of the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative body. Report for America is a national, nonprofit service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to cover undercover issues.