Storm causes floods, up to 200 lightning strikes in county

EVERETT — Another intense overnight rainstorm left Snohomish County with a familiar scenario on Friday: wet roads, sewage overflows and flooded basements.

Roughly an inch and a half of rain fell in some areas. Up to 200 lightning strikes were recorded in the county as well, mostly between 11 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle. Western Washington saw maybe 6,000 lightning strikes in all. There were reports of people struck in other parts of the region.

Saturday’s weather forecast was looking better with some showers. Sunshine is bound to return next week, Burg said Friday.

South county and north county did OK during the storm, according to the local fire departments. The Stanwood area saw a lot of rain and lightning, but little flooding.

Lightning and other weather woes caused a few small power outages in Stanwood as well, according to Snohomish County PUD. About 300 customers lost power for up to two hours.

The power problems complicated printing The Herald, which delayed delivery of Friday’s paper for many customers.

Arlington hosted repeated, reverberating booms of thunder throughout Thursday night. Lynnwood was quiet, weather-wise.

There were a few reports of tree branches into power lines, but no major flooding in south county, said Leslie Hynes, spokeswoman for Snohomish County Fire District 1.

“Things don’t look so bad today,” said Robert McGaughey, Mukilteo’s public works director, on Friday.

City crews went out Friday morning and checked on the roads, he said. The city also offered a sand-bagging site before the storm began.

“We armed ourselves with a couple of pallets of sandbags,” he said. “That’s probably why we dodged the bullet.”

The water at Lighthouse Park was ruled safe again too, McGaughey said. The parking lot there flooded a bit from the rain combined with a high tide, but the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival was good to go.

Everett was not so lucky.

For the second time in two weeks, the rain overwhelmed the stormwater system, causing flooding and sewage overflow.

The city had planned to reopen beaches at Pigeon Creek and Howarth Park. That’s now on hold, public works spokeswoman Marla Carter said Friday. Crews were out sampling Friday and, depending on the results, will re-assess on Saturday.

“If things had been normally, we would have reopened them today,” Carter said. “We’re just being cautious here.”

At this point, the city has received about 30 claims for damage.

The number of people who’ve had their homes and property damaged in Everett rivals the urban flooding that struck the city’s north end in 2010. This time, however, the impact is more widespread.

Several teams were out Friday morning working cleanup. City officials also are having constant discussions about long-term upgrades, Carter said.

Sunday morning should be cloudy, but that ought to turn into sunshine, with highs in the 70s, said Burg with the weather service.

“After that it looks to be dry and warming up a little bit by Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said. “Then things will cool back down. If you like sunny and nice weather, that’s what it’s looking like, starting Sunday.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

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