Stillaguamish River crest predicted at record-breaking 22.5 feet 4 a.m. Jan. 8
January 9, 2009 · Updated 2:58 PM
ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish River was seeping over Highway 530 at Twin Rivers Park in Arlington by 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, and it was flowing rapidly across the highway by noon.
Washington State Department of Transportation officials supervised the low spot closely all day, allowing single lanes of traffic to pass when there was six inches flowing across the road at 1 p.m., according to the city's emergency management coordinator Chris Badger.
"They will close the road when the water reaches 12 inches," Badger said.
She added there was some urban flooding on 204th Street and SR 9, and Burn Road was was closed due to a serious undercut.
At 12:54 p.m. the river was at 19.16 feet, at flood stage 4, and projections were that the rain would continue for a crest at 22.52 feet at 4 a.m. Thursday.
"That will be a record for Arlington," Badger said.
Radio reports cited an inch of rain per hour through Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, along with warm temperatures melting abundant quantities of snow.
Badger said some residents of the Stillaguamish Valley between Arlington and Silvana were self-evacuating Wednesday morning.
"Some residents of Schloman Road were loading up their horses," she said.
Residents of the upper Stillaguamish Valley left work at the hospital for home by noon, according to Kelly Penny, community liaison.
Arlington School District prepared for the worst, communicating with families and WSDOT all morning, waiting to hear when the state highway might be closed.
"We won't leave any kids high and dry," said the district's spokesperson, Misti Gilman at noon Jan. 7.
"We are communicating with parents and authorized neighbors," Gilman explained that they don't close school early and send kids home because of safety concerns. She said the water on roads in Silvana was not such an issue as Highway 530.
"We have alternate routes in Silvana," Gilman said.
National Weather Service forecasted 5 to 10 inches of rain in Snohomish County, and flooding in all major river systems in the county Wednesday night through Thursday evening. Localized flooding was already occurring early Wednesday morning in typical low spots around the lowland areas of the Stillaguamish River and its forks.
In addition to flooding, there was a high risk of rain-induced landslides, according to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.
Residents are encouraged to take precautions and not drive through flood waters or get too close to the river’s edge.
Arlington is offering sand, sand bags and shovels, available at the City Hall parking lot on Olympic Avenue on a self serve basis for anyone in need of sandbags to protect their property or business.
Flooding on county roads should be reported to the Public Works Department at 425-388-7500 or email@example.com. Flood updates can be found at www.snoco.org and information about Arlington schools is available at their Web site, www.asd.wednet.edu. Snohomish County Emergency Management can be reached at 425-388-5060.