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Flood watch in effect, high water on the way in parts of Valley

A flood watch is now in effect in the Snoqualmie Valley.

The warning, issued by the National Weather Service, began Saturday afternoon and continues through Monday afternoon, Dec. 13.

With heavy rain lashing the region, the latest forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict waters rising to about 35,000 cubic feet per second at Snoqualmie Falls.

That amount means lowland flooding and the possibility of water in lower parts of downtown Snoqualmie.

Flooding on the Tolt River is also likely, according to the weather service.

While emergency personnel are on standby, the Snoqualmie Fire Department had not opened its emergency operations center as of Saturday afternoon. Firefighters said the center would open Sunday, Dec. 12, if needed.

As of 4:15 p.m. Saturday, the river guage at Snoqualmie's Three Forks read 2,344 cfs. Weather Service predictions called for it to rise to 30,000 by 4 a.m. Sunday.

According to King County, a level of 20,000 cfs at Three Forks means flooding of various depths in the entire Valley. Overtopped roads include the Fall City-Carnation Road, Tolt Hill Road, Novelty Flats Road, Neal Road, Reinig Road, West Snoqualmie River Road, Meadowbrook Way and Mill Pond Road.

According to Snoqualmie Fire Chief Bob Rowe, floods topping 35,000 cfs at the Falls signal the start of downtown Snoqualmie flooding.

Predicted flood levels are smaller than previous events in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The January 2009 flood topped 54,000 cfs at Three Forks.

Snoqualmie Ridge Storage planned to make drivers and six trucks available to lowland residents to help them protect their belongings.

Ridge Storage owner Sherwood Korsjoenn said he typically donates his business' services, with a one month grace period, to help in a disaster.

"We pick people up, get them out of harm's way and give them a chance to catch their breath," Korsjoenn said,

Interested parties should call (425) 396-1410.

Realtime flood gauge numbers are available at http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/waterandland/flooding/warning-system.aspx.

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