MONROE — The Evergreen Fairgrounds opened its stall doors to horses and goats flooded out of their pastures Thursday by relentless rain.
This week’s weather on top of a wet December and January overwhelmed saturated soils, causing widespread road closures and urban flooding.
“This additional rain has nowhere to go into the ground,” National Weather Service meteorologist Logan Johnson said.
Closing in on two weeks of heavy precipitation, the extreme weather has taken its toll on infrastructure.
A roaring Suak River ate away a portion of the southbound lane of Highway 530 between Darrington and Rockport, nine miles south of Highway 20. A temporary stoplight is alternating travelers through the open lane until repairs can be made.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for southwest Snohomish County Thursday as the precipitation overwhelmed small streams and culverts.
On Thursday, water-covered roads were closed, including flood-prone Ben Howard Road near Monroe.
If you encounter a flooded road, it’s best to turn around or find another way around. As little as one foot of water can float a vehicle.
Rain will linger through the day Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation Wednesday for 19 Washington counties, including Snohomish, due to the forecast.
The Snohomish River was expected to reach moderate flooding levels Thursday, and last through Friday.
There’s also now a chance of high winds beginning Friday.
With soaked ground, many trees are in a weakened state and at risk of falling over in gusts.
“Saturated soils, trees, not a good mix,” Snohomish County Department of Emergency Services spokesperson Scott North said. “Throw in wind and you could have some hazards.”
UPDATE: while the rain has slowed (for now), 44th Ave W is still a puddle and remains closed between 204th St SW and about the 21000 block. pic.twitter.com/ThMfUI74IZ
— Lynnwood Police (@LynnwoodPD) February 6, 2020
In the mountains, snow from earlier this week coupled with warming temperatures poses a severe avalanche risk. Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass and the western slopes of Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest had a high-risk avalanche warning in place Wednesday, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. That warning encompasses mostly backcountry, but doesn’t apply to roads and ski resorts, Johnson said.
Landslide risk also remains high throughout Snohomish County.
There’s a break just ahead, with rain expected to clear for Sunday and Monday.
Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.