Flooding continued to impact King County and Western Washington through Feb. 6.
On Feb. 6, following significant rain and flooding, King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an emergency proclamation allowing for normal procurement rules to be waved, and emergency supplies and equipment to be purchased and deployed at a more brisk pace.
The Emergency Management office and the Flood Warning Center, a branch of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, had been operating 24 hours per day.
Road services responded to two reports of minor landslides on Southeast David Powell Road at Preston Fall City Road Southeast, and Southeast Jones Road between #18631 and state Route 169, as well as overtopped roads in the eastern portion of the county. State Route 900 was closed from Telus Drive to Southeast May Valley Road in Issaquah. In total 30 roads were closed however, 2 had reopened by the afternoon of Feb. 7 . The area surrounding Issaquah Creek was one of the most impacted areas — 11 residents of Creekside Apartments had been evacuated in the afternoon.
“If you see water going across a roadway or anything like that, turn around — just do not go through that,” said Cameron Satterfield of King County’s Department of Executive Services. “Do not try to attempt to cross that. It doesn’t take much at all — especially with the way some of our rivers are running right now — to sweep that car off of the road into the river, and you’re gone.”
In fact, it only takes about 3-4 inches of swiftly moving water to sweep a person away, according to Satterfield. That is the reason why barricades have been placed along numerous roads, to include state Route 169 from 196 Avenue Southeast to Southeast 231st, although there are some reports of individuals moving barricades, creating safety concerns.
Satterfield advised citizens of King County to avoid flooded roads, stay up to date with news and traffic reports, and to assist others if it can be done in a safe manner.
“We do know that people are out there and just, being good citizens, good residents, and neighbors, and helping folks out. So we definitely like to encourage that,” Satterfield said.
Meteorologist at the National Weather Service, Steve Reedy said Issaquah received nearly 3.5 inches of rainfall over the three days leading up to the flooding, which is considered to be high.
Reedy mentioned that there “was just like this train of moisture that rode over an upper level ridge over the Pacific, and once it got over the crest of that ridge, you know, started to point downward and it pretty much led right into Western Washington.”
In the following days, scattered showers and light precipitation are expected. “We do have an upper level ridge that moves in a bit more convincingly for Sunday. And, as the name implies, we may actually see that bright glowing orb in the sky,” Reedy said.
For more updates on road closures go online to https://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/flooding/warning-system.aspx.