Issaquah flooding is possible during rain-soaked weekend

December 10, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 10, 2010

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle issued a flood watch from Saturday afternoon to Monday afternoon for all Western Washington counties.

Forecasters expect a Pineapple Express system to dump 1 to 3 inches of rainfall in the lowlands and 3 to 8 inches in the mountains. (The phenomenon is so named because the moisture-laden system originates above the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.)

In addition, the snow level is predicted to climb to 8,000 feet during the same period. Snowmelt could accompany the rainfall and further swell creeks and rivers.

Forecasters said even small streams could overflow if the rain is heavy enough. Localized flooding is also a possibility.

Issaquah emergency planners reminded residents to keep storm drains near homes clear of fallen leaves and other debris. Call the city Public Works Operations Department at 837-3470 to address larger storm water issues.

Residents can receive real-time Issaquah Creek flood data from a flood gauge in Hobart. Planners use the gauge to determine the city’s flood phases.

If creeks in the city reach a flood phase, emergency planners post information to the city website, emergency information line, the city radio station at 1700-AM and on Channel 21, the municipal access channel. Call the emergency information line at 837-3028.

The city has completed a series of projects in recent months to prepare for possible floods. Community Emergency Response Team members also trained in October for flood response.

The city last experienced a major flood in January 2009. The natural disaster caused about $1 million in damage.

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