Editor’s note: Given the ongoing weather situation, we will try to update this article daily with the latest. Mother Nature still has a few cards up her sleeve this winter season, and stormy weather is creating road closures and unsafe conditions throughout the area.
Friday, Jan. 7:
Heavy rain is pummeling the Plateau this week, and everyone should be cautious as standing water and scattered flooding affect the region. The one-two punch of melting snow from last week and pouring rain from this week is contributing to the problem.
In Enumclaw, the National Weather Service forecasts more rain through Saturday, with conditions clearing up by Saturday night. Rain is predicted to return Monday and continue through the rest of next week.
The Buckley Fire Department advised residents south of the White River to keep a close eye on flood waters, especially in Wilkeson.
“There is no need to evacuate at this time, but it is a good time to have a plan and prepare your property in the event that flood waters continue to rise,” the department said in a Facebook post.
Sand, sandbags and shovels are available at the Wilkeson and Buckley fire stations, and sandbag preperation is open to “self-serve” for the public.
The department will do their best to help fill sandbags if the weather gets worse, according to the post.
The Plateau region is still under a flood watch through Saturday, and a flood advisory is in effect through Friday afternoon.
What’s the difference? A flood watch means conditions could lead to flooding in rivers and other low-lying, flood-prone locations. A flood advisory, meanwhile, means that minor flooding in the area has been forecasted but is not expected to be bad enough for a flood warning, which is issued if hazardous flooding is imminent or already happening.
Still, the flood advisory is am indication that the flooding could cause serious inconveniences and could threaten life or property if people aren’t cautious.
If you’re out driving, the National Weather Service has the following advice: “Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”
More flooding means an increased risk of landslides, too, so people should be cautious and alert in areas prone to landslides.
For more safety advice, visit: http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood
Thursday, Jan. 6:
All lanes of State Highway 410 were closed Thursday in both directions at milepost 30 at Mud Mountain Dam toward Greenwater, according to the Washington Department of Transportation, after several trees fell over the road.
The closure began early Thursday morning at about 12:32 a.m. Crews had been out working since daylight, WSDOT spokesperson Elizabeth Guevara said.
The highway re-opened in both directions near Mud Mountain Dam Road, Guevara confirmed around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Crystal Mountain is closed due to the unsafe conditions. The ski resort had warned travelers on their Twitter account earlier on Wednesday to use extreme caution when driving on SR 410.
Meanwhile, dual hazardous weather alerts are in effect in the area. West of the mountains, including Enumclaw, Buckley and Black Diamond, there is a flood watch in effect from now through 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8.
East of the cities, a winter storm warning is in effect, as the heavy precipitation expected over the rest of this week will show up as snow at higher elevations.