Thaw made a mess Friday, and more rain is coming

  • Fri Jan 20th, 2012 5:34pm
  • News

By Rikki King and Eric Stevick Herald Writers

The snow may be retreating, but winter woes aren’t over.

Several storms bringing rain are predicted into next week. The extra water, added to the melting snow, could cause flooding near streams and storm drains, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Temperatures are expected to stay above freezing, meteorologist Dennis D’Amico said. Saturday could see highs in the mid-40s.

At this point, river flooding isn’t predicted, but that could change depending on how much rain falls in the next few days, D’Amico said.

As a precaution, the weather service Friday issued a flood watch for much of the region.

The weather service also expects a wind advisory to stay in place into Saturday morning.

“People need to just be aware of what’s around their house and how that could impact them,” D’Amico said.

Drivers Friday morning had another icy commute as light rain started to reveal streaks of blacktop underneath the white muck.

The Washington State Patrol responded to multiple crashes caused by people driving too fast for conditions, Sgt. Kirk Rudeen said. Many crashes happened when people attempted to change lanes, but got tossed around by the slush.

Traffic came to a standstill on northbound I-5 in Everett for hours Friday after a messy weather-related crash.

Just before 11 a.m., a sport utility vehicle lost control and slid into the path of a semi-truck carrying tiles, Trooper Keith Leary said.

The truck rolled over and spilled fuel and debris into the road. No serious injuries were reported.

Everett resident Mike Allen saw the crash. He said he was driving on the highway behind the semi when he saw a Suburban hit piled-up snow and start spinning.

The semi driver tried to slow down, but the caroming Suburban hit the rig between the trailer and the cab, Allen said.

“The only thing that was surprising is everyone made it out safe,” Allen said.

The weight of snow, ice and rainfall continued to topple tree branches and power lines for much of Friday.

The number of homes and businesses without power peaked around 17,000 Friday morning and had dropped to about 9,500 by early afternoon, Snohomish County PUD spokesman Neil Neroutsos said.

As the weekend continues, all the extra water could loosen soil and cause more downed trees, said Jamie Holter, a state transportation spokeswoman.

People should clear snow and debris from around their storm drains, she said. Think how it will look Saturday.

“Everywhere you saw white yesterday, you’re going to see water today,” she said.

Everett Postmaster Don Hatch also urged people to clear a path in front of their mailboxes where snow was piled high by plows.

In many cases, there are tall and solid masses of snow and ice, and postal workers can’t get to the boxes, he said.

Drivers concerned about damage from salt on the roads should wash their cars to prevent corrosion, Holter said.

Now is also a good time for people to re-evaluate their storm plans, she said. They should think about their preparations and supplies, and what worked in this storm and what didn’t.

People who lost power may want to put fresh batteries in their lanterns and flashlights, she said.

Snohomish County sheriff’s bureau chief Kevin Prentiss reminds people this weekend to stay clear of iced-over ponds and lakes.

People should not play on ice or go out on frozen water surfaces, he said. Children should be supervised if they’re anywhere near leftover ice.

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