Wednesday, December 8, 2021

More “atmospheric rivers” and floods threaten Washington | AP News

SEATTLE (AP) – A week and a half after devastating flooding in Washington state, forecasters warned that several “atmospheric rivers” threaten to flood the Pacific Northwest again early in Thanksgiving.

Forecasters predict that more moisture from atmospheric rivers – huge plumes of moisture extending over the Pacific Ocean and northwestward – are expected to cause up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain in some areas affected by the recent flooding.

National Meteorological Service officials predict periods of moderate to heavy rainfall throughout Wednesday as the first of a series of systems moves through the region.

The state estimates millions of dollars in damage from the last atmospheric rivers.

In Whatcom County in northwestern Washington, officials say damages could reach $ 50 million.

Watcom County officials said the recent flood damage is estimated at $ 15-20 million for homes, “tens of millions of dollars” for public infrastructure and up to $ 20 million for local business centers, the Bellingham Herald reported on Tuesday.

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Rain flooded the county for three days, and on November 14, the Nuxak River overflowed its banks, flooding the communities of Everson, Nuxak and Sumas.

During this time, the US-Canadian border in the small town of Sumas closed, three bridges at Bellingham were closed, and landslides blocked Interstate 5 south of Bellingham.

John Hutchings, director of the Whatcom County Public Works Department, said it has been more than 30 years since a flood of this magnitude hit the area.

Meanwhile, damage assessments are ongoing in 13 other western Washington counties that Gov. Jay Inslee has declared disaster areas in hopes of receiving federal aid.

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