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Published: Monday, December 13, 2010, 9:33 p.m.

Rivers’ worst is over

Snohomish and Skykomish crested lower than expected

  • Haakon Andor and Danielle Torstenbo check out the level of the Snohomish River from the waterfront in downtown Snohomish on Monday afternoon.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    Haakon Andor and Danielle Torstenbo check out the level of the Snohomish River from the waterfront in downtown Snohomish on Monday afternoon.

  • A flooded field off Crescent Lake Road in Monroe reflects the partly cloudy sky on Monday.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    A flooded field off Crescent Lake Road in Monroe reflects the partly cloudy sky on Monday.

  • Jeremy Stokesbary, at Lewis Street Park in Monroe, watches the high waters of the Skykomish River flow by on Monday.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Jeremy Stokesbary, at Lewis Street Park in Monroe, watches the high waters of the Skykomish River flow by on Monday.

  • The Stocker Field in Snohomish was flooded on Monday after the weekend rain.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    The Stocker Field in Snohomish was flooded on Monday after the weekend rain.

  • The intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Center Street in Snohomish was flooded on Monday.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    The intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Center Street in Snohomish was flooded on Monday.

  • The Stocker Field in Snohomish was flooded on Monday after the weekend rain.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    The Stocker Field in Snohomish was flooded on Monday after the weekend rain.

  • A track hoe on the eastbound Highway 2 trestle over Ebey slough deflects logs away from the trestle pilings.

    Michael O’Leary/The Herald

    A track hoe on the eastbound Highway 2 trestle over Ebey slough deflects logs away from the trestle pilings.

SNOHOMISH — People in eastern Snohomish County were ready for mayhem after record floodwaters spanked Granite Falls, Arlington and Stanwood.
Turns out, Monday wasn’t that bad.
Near-record river levels forecast for the Skykomish and Snohomish rivers didn’t materialize Monday. Both rivers crested lower than predicted. By midmorning, officials had lifted the warning for the Skykomish River.
That doesn’t mean people didn’t get wet.
The east county rivers were running high and fast Monday.
“You should have been out here yesterday. I saw a small barn floating down the river,” said Jeremy Stokesbary. He was at Lewis Street Park in Monroe watching the river rush by.
Up and down the valley, creeks backed up and swelled beyond their banks. The usual roads were underwater in riverside communities.
In some places, the waters filtered into neighboring fields, creating a muddy mess.
Although the worst is probably over, there might still be some trouble.
The flood warning for the Snohomish River extends into Wednesday.
Terry Johnson, who has lived in the area for 36 years, on Monday was riding his three-speed bicycle, Gladys, on the Tualco Loop Road. He wanted to get a better look at the water covering the roadway.
“This time is not bad at all,” he said.
Still, he got up every two hours Sunday night to check on the water in the slough by his house.
Downriver in Snohomish, plenty of people were out in force on First Street, leaning over railings to get a look at or photo of the churning brown river just below.
Officials said it could take another day or two for floodwaters to recede.
Upriver, that was already happening Monday in Gold Bar and Sultan. The water around the statue of Sultan John in Sportsman Park was no longer surrounded by water like it was on Sunday.
People there said the flooding wasn’t as bad as past years.
Sherry Gruenwoldt and her husband, Gert, of Gold Bar, were not impressed.
“I have seen higher water levels a year ago and the year before,” she said.
In past years, the Three Rivers Mobile and RV Park has suffered from severe flooding. This time the riverside community was spared.
Carmen Mata was ready to head for high ground over the weekend.
“I was ready to pick up my things so the river does not take them,” she said.
Several roads in the Skykomish and Snohomish valleys remain closed and drivers were being urged not to drive through floodwaters. Sultan emergency crews had to rescue one person on Ben Howard Road.
It’s the same story along the Stillaguamish River. The Stilly was still running so high early Monday that I-5 at Island Crossing was briefly closed before daylight. Highway 530 has reopened, and public works crews were inspecting bridges and roads to assess any damage caused by floodwaters.
“It takes several days to drain,” Chris Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. “There’s probably still some flooding out there.”
Arlington public works crews spent Monday mopping up, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. The hardest hit areas include Haller Park and Twin Rivers Park. Both are on the river.
Dike Road, just outside city limits, buckled in one spot. There also was some shoulder erosion on Highway 530 between 59th Drive and Island Crossing.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or dsmith@heraldnet.com





Story tags » SnohomishSultanFloodSnohomish RiverSkykomish River

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