January 19, 2012
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.
January 18, 2012
NEW — 9:15 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012
Snowfall greeted Issaquah residents Wednesday morning, as a less-severe-than-predicted snowstorm still left deep snow in local neighborhoods, especially areas at higher elevations.
January 18, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 18, 2012
Come winter, the nonstop struggle between man and Mother Nature unfolds in a teeth-rattling ride aboard city snowplows.
Snow, split into quarters from tire tracks, clung to the streets late Tuesday afternoon in Montreux, a tony neighborhood on Cougar Mountain named for a city in the Swiss Alps. In methodical maneuvers, city snowplow driver Kyle Patterson edged back and forth along cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac, pushing snow from the roadway to form dirt-flecked berms along the street.
January 17, 2012
Snow blanketed Issaquah and the Puget Sound region Jan. 15 and 16, as officials and residents prepared for more challenging conditions in the days ahead.
The potential for more snow — plus flooding as the snow melted — reminded emergency planners to gird for harsh La Niña conditions, albeit later in the season than expected.
“It’s going to be pretty messy in the next couple of days,” said Johnny Burg, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Seattle. “People should just pay attention to the forecast.”
November 21, 2011
NEW — 5 p.m. Nov. 21, 2011
King County is under a flood watch as a precipitation-laden system barrels into Western Washington, and Issaquah residents should prepare for localized flooding as rain and wind pelt the area.
The flood watch is in effect until through late Wednesday night. Expect 2 to 4 inches of rainfall Monday night and Tuesday as the snow level rises to about 6,000 feet, and then another 1 to 3 inches Tuesday night and Wednesday as the snow level gradually dips to about 3,000 feet.
National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said any flooding related to the system is expected to be minor.
In addition, a wind advisory is in effect through noon Tuesday.
Bret Heath, city Public Works Operations and emergency management director, said leaves dislodged from trees by rain and wind could also clog storm drains and lead to flooding along city streets.
Issaquah Creek flooding is not expected to pose a major problem in the days ahead.
September 24, 2011
NEW — 11 a.m. Sept. 24, 2011
Less than a year after conflicting flood information confused Issaquah residents during a December deluge, the National Weather Service plans to adjust flood warning levels for Issaquah Creek.
The agency plans to base flood warnings on the creek’s flow, rather than height. The agency plans to make the adjustments Oct. 1.
The switch is meant to avoid confusion between National Weather Service data and the city’s flood warning system.
The city bases warnings on real-time data from a gauge upstream from Issaquah in Hobart. The system can usually provide a few hours of lead time before flooding impacts Issaquah.
The data collected by the National Weather Service comes from a downstream gauge near the creek mouth in Lake Sammamish State Park.
September 13, 2011
The decade since 9/11 has reshaped how Issaquah and King County leaders prepare for disasters and manage the response to emergencies.
The attacks also meant increased attention — and dollars — for emergency management efforts, although local officials said the initial focus on counterterrorism sidelined plans about other dangers, such as floods and earthquakes.
“All of the sudden there was a big focus on emergency management in general. That was good news from an emergency management perspective,” said Bret Heath, city public works operations and emergency management director. “The bad news is that it shifted from all hazards to almost strictly terrorism immediately following 9/11.”
Issaquah planners focused on more common emergencies — floods, snowstorms, windstorms and the like — in the years before the attacks.
August 23, 2011
The creeks crisscrossing Issaquah remain in good condition, despite increased construction nearby, a population boom in the surrounding watershed and, alongside both developments, more potential for pollution.
August 2, 2011
The city Planning Department is considering a permit to allow crews to elevate flood-prone homes along Issaquah Creek.
Plans call for elevating four homes in the Sycamore neighborhood by about 4 feet above the 100-year floodplain. The project includes decks, stairs, landings, walks, foundations, crawlspaces and some minor modifications to the homes to account for the elevation.
The homes along Sycamore Drive Southeast and Southeast Sycamore Place qualified for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program administered by the city.
The city also intends to elevate a home along Northwest Cherry Place.
In January 2009, floodwaters ruined houses in hard-hit Sycamore. Since the major flood, crews breached a Great Depression-era levee across the creek from the neighborhood to allow more room for the creek to meander during floods.
May 28, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2011
Rivers make for inherently dangerous places to play — especially in the springtime as water flows high, swift and cold.
King County public safety officials and emergency responders stand on extra alert for spring and summer, because unusually heavy amounts of mountain snow is melting into local rivers. In addition, a tumultuous winter flood season changed river channels and reoriented logs.
The conditions create a recipe for river recreation tragedy.
“King County rivers are running fast and cold and are always extremely dangerous this time of year,” King County Sheriff Sue Rahr said in a statement. “But 2011 could bring even higher risks. We want to get the word out ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and before the next hot weather forecast that people should stay out of the rivers at this time.”