Crews continue snow removal on Issaquah streets as flood concern rises

January 19, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 5 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

City road crews labored throughout the night and morning to remove snow and treat Issaquah streets, as officials and residents prepare for another day of snow-snarled commutes.

Roads remain open and snowplows continue to focus on Priority 1 routes — important arteries and access to hillside communities. Crews intend to address side streets as conditions allow. (Officials divide streets into priority levels for snow removal.)

Officials canceled all programs at the Issaquah Community Center and Julius Boehm Pool for Thursday. Call 837-3300 or go to the city website for updates on possible drop-in hours.

Expect rain and snow before 10 a.m. Thursday. Temperatures should rise into the upper 30s throughout the day. More rain and snow is expected Thursday night.

Meanwhile, concerns turned to possible flooding as higher temperatures and rain entered the forecast. Meteorologists said evaluating the moisture locked in snow and melting into runoff into local waterways is difficult. In addition, a storm is heading for Western Washington from the Pacific Ocean. National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle said the storm could drop 0.5 to 2.5 inches of rain on lowland soggy lowland areas.

But predicting how snow melt and additional precipitation could impact Issaquah Creek and other waterways is difficult to determine.

“This will be a tricky situation to forecast, and uncertainty that there will or will not be flooding is quite high,” forecasters noted in a hydrologic outlook posted Wednesday afternoon. “Rainfall intensities and the amount and rate of lowland snow melt will determine how high the rivers rise. There is a lot of uncertainty in how much snow water is there and how fast that snow will melt.”

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