Engineers evaluate a mudslide Thursday morning in Edmonds. (South Snohomish Fire)

Engineers evaluate a mudslide Thursday morning in Edmonds. (South Snohomish Fire)

Hard rain is going to fall: 50% or better chance of flooding

It won’t be as windy, but rivers could rise Saturday and Sunday.

LYNNWOOD — After the first big storm of the season, meteorologists now are warning folks about rising rivers.

Flooding is possible over the weekend.

On Wednesday, about 0.84 inches of rain fell in Everett, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. Thursday and Friday were expected to be a showery reprieve from the downpour.

However, a second storm front is trailing close behind. Rain is likely to return Saturday.

“Right now it doesn’t look like it’s going to be as windy as this last event, but there’s going to be substantial rainfall,” meteorologist Doug McDonnal said. “There’s at least a 50 percent chance that there will be some flooding in rivers.”

The Snohomish River might experience minor flooding in east county on Sunday. The Weather Service also predicted moderate flooding of the Skykomish River near Gold Bar.

Jason Biermann, director of Snohomish County’s Department of Emergency Management, said urban flooding also can be a serious issue. He suggested people check the storm drains near their homes and clean out any leaves.

Some people in Lynnwood are still cleaning up after Wednesday’s storm as more rain heads their way.

Mud and trees fell down a hillside near Meadowdale Beach Park on Thursday morning. The slide threatened about 30 homes and damaged one. The trees crashed into the house and some of the walls had begun to bow from the mud, said Leslie Hynes, a spokeswoman with South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue.

The slide also ruptured a natural gas line, which since has been fixed, Hynes said.

The neighborhood is situated on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound, and it’s prone to slides. A couple abandoned their home in 2011 when a tree tumbled down the hillside and fell into their house. The city of Lynnwood bought property in this area for $6 million in 2015 in attempts to prevent a developer from building homes there. Neighbors were worried the additional runoff would increase the likelihood of future slides.

People living in those homes, except for the one damaged in the slide, were allowed back in after about two hours.

High winds also kept utility crews busy. At the storm’s peak, about 5,000 customers in the area lost power, said Neil Neroutsos, a spokesman for the Snohomish County Public Utility District. About 30 crews were fixing power lines scattered across the county, from Mountlake Terrace to Stanwood.

Hours before the storm rolled in, the PUD made its online outage map available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. About 19,000 people visited the page Wednesday.

Winds tapered off in the evening, and so did the outages.

Though the weekend’s forecast doesn’t call for much wind, soggy ground and wet, leafy trees still can pose problems.

Plus, conditions can change fast, Neroutsos warned. He encouraged people to think ahead and pull together an emergency kit with an extra cellphone battery and cash in case ATMs lose power.

Snohomish County’s public works also will update its map of road closures in the event of flooding.

Biermann reminded people they can sign up online to receive alerts via email, text or phone call in the case of an emergency.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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