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.”