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Flood watch on for Tolt, Snoqualmie rivers; roads start to overtop

High water covers Snoqualmie River Road near Fall City on Friday, Jan. 14. Minor flooding is anticipated this weekend, cresting on Sunday. - William Shaw / Staff Photo
High water covers Snoqualmie River Road near Fall City on Friday, Jan. 14. Minor flooding is anticipated this weekend, cresting on Sunday.
— image credit: William Shaw / Staff Photo

Rising water on the Snoqualmie River triggered a Phase II flood alert on Friday, Jan. 14.

Forecasts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that the Snoqualmie River valley will experience a mild or medium flood this weekend. As of Friday, NOAA predictions state that the Snoqualmie River will crest at the falls at about 30,000 cubic feet per second, or 15 feet, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan, 16. Flood stage is 13 feet. Water typically enters downtown Snoqualmie at about 35,000 cfs, according to Snoqualmie fire officials.

As of Friday afternoon, the river was flowing at about 18,000 cfs at the Falls.

At Carnation, the river is expected to crest at 57 feet, about three feet above flood stage, at 4 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20.

The Dec. 12-13, 2010, flood crested at about 33,000 cfs at Snoqualmie Falls.

Tolt River rises

The King County Flood Warning Center opened shortly after noon Thursday, Jan. 13, to monitor rising flows on the Tolt River from heavy rainfall in the area.

As of Friday afternoon, the Tolt River gauge at Carnation was at 3,460 cubic feet per second, about midway between a Phase 2 and 3 flood.

Homes in the San Souci area may be inaccessible and experience high water depths and velocities. Tolt River Road and some driveways may overtop.

More information

Updated information on flooding will also be posted on the King County website at www.kingcounty.gov, or via RPIN, the area's regional website at http://www.rpin.org. A recorded flood-information hotline is also updated each hour for citizens wanting information in flood areas. The number is 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263.

Citizens who need help interpreting flood information should call 206-296-4535 or 1-800-768-7932. Problems on county maintained roads can be reported by calling 206-296-8100 or 1-800-KC-ROADS.

An automated flood alert system is now available and provides real-time warning of potential high water on more than a half-dozen rivers. King County residents and business owners can sign up to receive King County Flood Alerts by visiting www.kingcounty.gov/flood, or by calling 206-263-3400 during regular business hours to register by phone. Messages of potential high flows on any of King County’s major river systems can be sent by phone, text or e-mail.

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