Rains cause flooding, evacuations in western Washington

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A firefighter carries Harlyn Alves, 2 years old, along a rope line and to high ground as his four-member family was evacuated from their apartment building Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Issaquah, Wash. Heavy rain sent the creek over a major roadway, under an apartment building east of Seattle and up to the foundations of homes as heavy rains pounded the region. A flood watch was in effect through Friday afternoon across most of western Washington. Numerous roads were closed because of water over the roadway. Officials also warned of landslide risks. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — Heavy rains sent a creek over a major roadway and into an apartment building east of Seattle on Thursday.

Amanda Amphett, a resident of the Park Shore Apartments in Issaquah, said Issaquah Creek reached their parking lot late Wednesday night. Her neighbor knocked on her door at 5 a.m. Thursday and told her that the river was running under their building.

On Thursday afternoon, firefighters evacuated residents from that building, including a family with two young children, and moved them to shelters. No injuries had been reported, authorities said.

“It’s been an adventure,” Amphett said.

A flood watch was in effect through Friday afternoon across most of western Washington. Numerous roads throughout the region were closed because of water over the roadway.

Officials also warned of landslide risks. Slides were also closing roads. Crystal Mountain Resort closed Thursday because of high avalanche danger and mudslides on the road to the large ski and snowboarding area in the Cascades.Sound Transit canceled Sounder north train service Thursday and Friday because of mudslide risks.

A failed culvert was causing additional flooding on in and around Issaquah.

“Rock and soil spilling from hillside crammed the culvert full of debris,” King County officials said on Twitter. “The water has nowhere else to go. We built a berm to help direct water to creek so it wouldn’t damage the road or flood homes.”

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office warned on Twitter that the Nisqually River was flooding.

The Lacey Fire Department said on Twitter that Tacoma Power would increase the flow from LaGrande Dam Thursday afternoon and residents living in the Nisqually Delta were urged to evacuate. The river was expected to peak by 4 p.m.

The city of Duvall asked residents to limit their water use, saying the water treatment plant had been maxed out by the rain.

In Snohomish County, owners of flood-threatened farms were bringing livestock to the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, The Seattle Timesreported.

Up to six inches of rain is expected in parts of Snohomish County, and King County activated its flood warning center, where officials are monitoring conditions of area rivers. King County issued flood warnings on seven rivers and Issaquah Creek after a major weather system brought heavy rains across most of Western Washington.

KOMO TV reports major flooding was expected or already occurring on four rivers: the Snoqualmie near Carnation, the Tolt above Carnation, the Carbon near Firfax and the Cowlitz at Randle.

Four other rivers were experiencing moderate flooding: the Cedar near Landsburg, the Snoqualmie near Snoqualmie Falls, the White at R Street Bridge, and the Snohomish at Snohomish and near Monroe.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation Wednesday for 19 Washington counties because of damage from storms that are forecast to continue into the weekend.

King County Executive Dow Constantine in Seattle signed an emergency declaration Thursday to speed up response and turnaround times for repairs and other work. He said staff members from county agencies were working long hours to close flooded roads, clear landslide debris, monitor levees and flood control facilities and coordinate with cities and the state as conditions deteriorate.

Because it’s expected to keep raining until Saturday evening, some rivers won’t reach their crest until the weekend, weather service meteorologist Dana Felton told the newspaper.

Small landslides have also occurred near the Oregon coast, with at least one disrupting traffic Thursday near Newport, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.

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AP writer Lisa Baumann contributed to this report from Seattle.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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