County issues emergency declaration to respond to flooding
November 12, 2008 · 2:16 PM
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has issued an emergency declaration to respond to flooding throughout the area. The emergency declaration frees up county resources for quicker response to flooding impacts and helps the county document damages for federal reporting. Reardon said increasing concerns on the Skykomish, Snohomish and Stillaguamish rivers led to the signing.
As of 11:20 a.m. Nov. 12, Arlington Community Emergency Management Coordinator Christine Badger reported that the gauge of the Stillaguamish River in Arlington was reading 15.76 feet. Haller Park and Twin Rivers Park at the Lincoln bridge have been closed off due to rising water, which Badger deemed "quicker than we anticipated," in both areas.
Badger expected that the crest would reach 19.62 feet at 10:00 p.m. Nov. 12, "at which point historically water crosses the road at Island Crossing, Highway 530 northeast of Arlington becomes underwater, and Silvana is cut off."
Badger predicted that, by 4 p.m. Nov. 12, the river could reach 19 feet, according to projections which put all of the above factors into play. Once it reaches 17 feet, Norman Road and Marine Drive will close, which Badger estimated would also be at about 4 p.m. Nov. 12.
"Our best advice would be for people to head home before dark," Badger said.
Flood warnings for the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River will continue through the morning of Nov. 13, since a stage of 13-14 feet corresponds to "Phase 2" in the Snohomish County flood warning system. Impacts of reaching 13 feet on the North Fork include flooding of the Oso loop road and minor riverbank erosion. Flood stage is 14 feet, and its impacts include the Stillaguamish River spilling over its banks locally, and minor flooding around Silvana, notably over Pioneer Highway.
The Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management continues to coordinate resources to protect public safety and property from flood damage. Residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas are being urged to monitor river levels closely. Snohomish County Public Works crews continue to deliver sand and bags to various locations along the Skykomish, Snohomish and Stillaguamish rivers.
Sand and bags are available for individual citizens' use. Residents should visit the drop-off sites to collect sand and bags. Sand and bags have been delivered to Fire District 19, Station 94 in Stanwood and the Oso Fire Station in Oso.
Snohomish County Public Works has closed several roads throughout the county, but Highway 2 is not closed. Residents are urged to stay away from rising waters and not to drive through areas of flowing or standing water, or around road closure barriers.
Road flooding should be reported to the municipality where it occurs. Flooding on county roads can be reported to the Public Works Department, by phone at 425-388-7500, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Road closure lists and flood updates can be found at www.snoco.org. Additional flooding issues can be reported to DEM at 425-388-5060.