Major flooding expected this afternoon along Skykomish, Stillaguamish rivers

  • By Diana Hefley, Krista Kapralos and Debra Smith Herald Writers
  • Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:00am
  • Local NewsLocal news

Crews used sandbags to shore up weak areas along the Skykomish River this morning and inspected levees and dikes on county rivers as major flooding was projected for this afternoon and tomorrow.

Flooding in Snohomish County is expected to come in two waves, with the first hitting about 4 p.m. today. That’s when the Stillaguamish River is expected to spill its banks. The Skykomish River near Gold Bar also is expected to rise above flood stage around 4 p.m.

The Snohomish River at Monroe and Snohomish is expected to flood Thursday morning.

Emergency planners are preparing for major flooding around the county, but the rivers aren’t expected to reach levels seen in the Election Day floods of 2006.

The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers is expected to continue to inspect the levees and dikes throughout the day. Meanwhile, county crews began delivering sand and bags this morning to parts of the county to prepare for flooding.

Heavy rains are expected to continue to fall in the mountains into the evening. Emergency crews also are preparing for potential landslides in areas such as Oso.


Two years ago the Snohomish River had risen far above a small park on its banks, swallowing picnic tables and a pathway.

The streets of downtown had almost a festive atmosphere as people watched to see if the flood would break records.

This morning the streets were empty and it was still possible to sit at the picnic tables on the riverbank. The areas that flooded in 2006 were just muddy.


Rain is falling in heavy gray sheets and the nearby Skykomish River is full and moving fast. The Sultan River has left its banks and is covering most of Sportsman’s Park and River Park and nearby First Street.

City crews in Sultan have closed First Street, which is submerged to Birch Street. Water is beginning to pool on Second Street and many city streets are partly flooded from heavy rain.

Brigette Criswell stood smoking at an apartment door about 50 feet from the advancing flood water. This is her friend’s apartment and she stayed with her last night because her friend was nervous. She has lived in Sultan most of her life but she says this time the rising water is making her nervous.

She plans to help her friend sandbag around the front door and she may also have to help sandbag at the downtown barbecue place where she works.

Firefighters spent the night walking city streets and warning people, who camp by the nearby rivers that floods were coming, said Andrew McLaurin, a firefighter.

“We’re just waiting,” he said. “Everyone’s ready.”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Chestnut mushrooms grow in a fruiting tent on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, at Black Forest Mushrooms in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fungi town: Downtown Everett home to new indoor gourmet mushroom farm

Black Forest Mushrooms will grow up to 20,000 pounds of tasty mushrooms each month. Its storefront opens Saturday at 2110 Hewitt Ave.

Outside of Angel of the Winds Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Police arrest Angel of the Winds arena worker accused of stabbing boss

The man allegedly walked up to his employer and demanded a raise, before stabbing him in the stomach, witnesses said.

The town post office in Index, Washington on Wedesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Index, smallest town in Snohomish County, is No. 1 in voter turnout

Index has beaten the Snohomish County ballot return rate in each of the last 10 years. Snohomish County leaders have a few theories as to why.

Founder and Executive Director Pa Ousman Joof, alongside Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell, right, prepares to cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the Washington West African Center on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Born out of struggle, West African Center flourishes in Lynnwood

African music filled the room Saturday at 19203 36th Ave. West, for the grand opening of the nonprofit’s new state headquarters.

An STI clinic opened Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free STI clinic opens in Everett after 14-year hiatus — and as rates spike

The county-run facility will provide treatment and resources for prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Graffiti covers the eastern side of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County Cascade Unit on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Again, Boys and Girls Club tagged with suspected gang signs in Everett

Residents on Cascade Drive say their neighborhood has been the scene of excessive graffiti and sometimes gunfire in the past year.

A suspected gas explosion on Wednesday destroyed a house in the 19700 block of 25TH DR SE in Bothell, Washington. (Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue)
After a newly bought Bothell house exploded, experts urge caution

The owners had closed on their purchase of the house just two days earlier. No one was hurt in the explosion.

A sign in front of the AquaSox front office references the upcoming Everett City Council vote on a sum of $1.1 million to give to outside contractors to help upgrade a new stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett AquaSox stadium upgrade gets $1.1M green light from city

City officials want to keep the team in Everett. But will they play in a new stadium downtown in 2027? Or an updated Funko Field?

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 40 days retired, Everett ex-police chief hired to mayor’s office

Everett’s longtime police chief, Dan Templeman, retired Oct. 31. He’s set to start a new role as senior executive director Monday.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Unexpected’ deaths are up in Washington’s prisons

At least 29 people died unexpectedly in Washington’s state prisons from July 2022 to June 2023.

Snohomish County Sheriff Dive Team and Search and Rescue deputy William Dawson approach two men and two dogs sitting in the bed of their truck. The truck died while trying to cross floodwaters along 28th Avenue NW on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Over a dozen rescues in Snohomish County after record flooding on Stilly

Meanwhile, the Snohomish River remained dangerously high near Snohomish, where one boater survived a dramatic rescue.

Joseph David Emerson, left, 44, was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Tues., Oct. 24, 2023, in Portland, Ore. Emerson, a pilot, is accused of attempting to disable the engines of a plane on which he was riding while off-duty last Sunday. Emerson pleaded not guilty Tuesday. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP, Pool)
Pilot indicted over Everett in-flight sabotage incident, but not for attempted murder

Joseph David Emerson on Tuesday was indicted on a charge of endangering an aircraft and 83 counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.