MONROE — Mild flooding in rural areas of Snohomish County turned more severe Tuesday morning and was expected to continue in some places until Wednesday afternoon.
Sustained rain over the past four to five days inundated county rivers, causing heavier floods which covered county roads, said Jacob DeFlitch, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle. Flood warnings around areas of Snohomish, Monroe, Arlington, Granite Falls, Sultan and Silvana were in place until Tuesday evening.
“It takes a little time for the rivers to respond,” he said.
The county’s Public Works Department responded to Tuesday’s events by sending 8,500 copies of its flood safety guide to residents in vulnerable areas, according to a news release.
Officials are urging residents not to drive through flooded roads, which is the main cause of flood-related deaths in the state, according to the weather service.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office was called to aid drivers of two vehicles stuck in flood waters, one on Mann Road near Sultan and another on Old Snohomish Monroe Road. Both drivers safely got out of their vehicles.
Additionally, a man was rescued after being stranded on a sand bar off the Pilchuck River.
The Snohomish River rose 3 feet past its flood level and spilled into parts of U.S. 2 and lower areas of the Snohomish Valley on Tuesday morning.
Delays are expected eastbound on the U.S. 2 trestle while crews work to remove logs and other debris which floated down with the flooding.
The flooding is expected to ease on Wednesday morning, DeFlitch said.
The Stillaguamish and Skykomish rivers had the most flooding Tuesday, primarily affecting areas of Silvana and Sultan.
In Silvana, Pioneer Highway, the unincorporated town’s main road, was submerged.
Kevin Faulkner, manager of Silvana Meats, said moderate flooding occurs about two to three times a year, but usually doesn’t start until around Thanksgiving.
The shop, located along the highway, was surrounded by water, he said. And neighbors are dealing with flooded basements.
In Sultan, the Skykomish flooded Ben Howard Road, Index-Galena Road, Tualco Loop Road and some areas of town. Flooding in both areas was expected to subside late Tuesday evening.
The North Fork Stillaguamish River flooded Oso Loop Road until Tuesday afternoon. East of Lake Stevens in Machias, locals reported a log jam at the bridge on OK Mill Road.
Drier weather is expected to start Wednesday and could continue well into next week.
The heavy rains had an effect on local waters.
Tulalip resident Stephen Hansel was driving on U.S. 2 from Lake Stevens to Everett when he noticed the Snohomish River looked discolored.
“I have never seen the Puget Sound as brown as chocolate before,” he said.
DeFlitch said the color may be caused by the rising water scraping soggy soil from around the rivers into its stream.
Flood watches are ongoing in King, Clallam, Jefferson and Mason counties.