NEW AT NOON: Get home soon, Highway 9 likely to be closed

SNOHOMISH – As record flooding is forecast for the Snohomish River in Snohomish tonight, the state Department of Transportation offers motorists this simple advice: “Know before you go.”

The city of Snohomish and state Department of Transportation are planning to coordinate a closure of Highway 9 between Marsh and Cathcart roads later this afternoon, said Meghan Soptich, a spokeswoman for the state transportation department.

“It is hard for us to predict,” Soptich said. “We encourage people to do their homework before they head out.”

That means referring to frequently updated road closure reports on state, county, city and media Web sites. It also could divert more traffic to the Hewitt Avenue Trestle.

The Snohomish River is now forecast to crest in Snohomish tonight at above record levels. The river is expected to reach 35.3 feet at 10 p.m. That would eclipse the previous record of 33.5 feet on Nov. 25, 1990, according to National Weather Service records.

By 9 a.m., the river already had reached 32.6 feet.

It also is forecast to crest at 4 p.m. in Monroe and cause widespread flooding.

Flood waters, avalanches and mudslides have already closed a series of roads in the county and across Western Washington, including a stretch of I-5 in southwest Washington and I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg along with Stevens, Snoqualmie and White mountain passes.

As of 10:30 a.m., there were several sections of state highways closed in and leading to Snohomish County.

For updates on closure and re-openings of state highways, information is available on the state Department of Transportation Web site at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic

For updates on county road closures, go to www.snoco.org.

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