Peninsula spared major damage during Tuesday’s wet weather

Bursts of rain and high winds Tuesday hit areas of both Clallam and Jefferson counties but caused no major damage.

Although sporadic downpours plagued the entire area — more on the West End than the rest of the North Olympic Peninsula — no heavy damage was incurred, and no more river flooding occurred after the weekend’s rising waters.

The highest wind gusts Tuesday were in the West End and on the Hood Canal, according to Dennis D’Amico, Seattle meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

A gust of 52 mph was recorded in the very early morning in Forks. Winds of 55 mph hit Tatoosh Island off Neah Bay.

Gusts in Brinnon

Brinnon had the highest winds in East Jefferson County, with gusts of about 38 mph during the day Tuesday and about 40 mph the night before, he said.

The Weather Service is predicting more rain to come — but a slower, steadier rain than was seen Tuesday, said D’Amico.

“We are looking for showers but not as unstable as we’ve seen [Tuesday],” he said.

Port Angeles and Sequim will be spared much of the rain, with Forks and Neah Bay areas receiving the most, he said.

West End

In Forks on Tuesday, hail, thunder and lightning early Tuesday were followed by off-and-on rain all day, said Mayor Bryon Monohon.

“It was the sort of thing that if you holed down for about 15 minutes, it all went away,” he said.

“It would be pouring, but in the sky to the west, you could see the end of the storm was close.”

The Weather Service recorded just under a half-inch of rain — 0.42 inches — at the Quillayute Airport weather station Tuesday.

The rain Tuesday brought Forks up to 9.95 inches of rain for December alone — 3.36 inches above the typical rainfall by the middle of December, D’Amico said.

The Weather Service has recorded 108.71 inches of rain for the year in Forks so far — or 9.06 feet, he said.

AccuWeather had recorded an annual accumulation of 125.86 inches for Forks as of Monday.

Russell Road in Forks remained closed Tuesday at the culvert for Mill Creek.

“We are still trying to figure out what to do because we have some [federal] funding figured out, but we don’t know for sure that it is coming through,” Monohon said.

Port Angeles, Sequim

The “rain shadow” effect — created by the Olympic Mountains blocking weather coming from the southwest — protected Port Angeles and Sequim from much of the weather.

Port Angeles had a gust of 41 mph Tuesday afternoon and 0.29 inches of rain.

Sequim had gusts of 26 mph and very little rain, D’Amico said.

The Port Townsend area had winds of about 33 mph Tuesday and about 0.08 inches of rain, D’Amico said.

About 0.85 inches of rain were recorded in Brinnon, D’Amico said.

The weather service listed no flooding for the Duckabush River or the Dosewallips River.

Brinnon Fire Chief Bob Herbst said that both lack monitoring equipment, and that the area did have high water last weekend.

All roads have been reopened after floods on Sunday, he said.

Duckabush river

The Duckabush flooded areas near Shorewood and Kelly Road on Sunday, and one family who lived in a fifth-wheel trailer in the area was evacuated, Herbst said.

“The owner informed me that he found that there was a mechanical problem and the trailer could not be moved, so it was left in the path of the flood,” Herbst said.

“The occupants went to Shelton for the duration.”

The Lazy C Development roads also were shut down because of water from the Dosewallips River and a tributary stream flowing over Appaloosa Drive, Herbst said.

Jefferson County Roads Department placed boulders along the Lazy C Development roads earlier in the year, which prevented a washout of Appaloosa Drive on Sunday, Herbst said.

Other areas of the state had more severe weather problems.

Kitsap woman killed

Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies said 55-year-old Diane M. Walker was killed early Tuesday when a tree blew down and crashed into her house near Southworth.

Two others in the home were not hurt when a huge, old-growth Douglas fire smashed into the home just after midnight during a windy rain storm.

At one point during last weekend, flood warnings were posted for more than 20 rivers in the state, but that was down to six by Monday night, with all receding.

By Tuesday afternoon, only four flood warnings still were in effect. Those were for Skokomish River, Snohomish River, Snoqualomie River and Chahalis River.

__________

Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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