Some flooding reported on Peninsula; rain in forecast

Weekend storm doesn’t live up to lofty expectations

An “atmospheric river” that had emergency management crews bracing for possible slides or flooding largely moved off to the north over much of the weekend but still soaked some area of the North Olympic Peninsula with heavy rain.

The West End saw 4 to 5 inches of rain over a 48-hour period beginning on Friday, said Mary Butwin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle, on Sunday afternoon.

That led to Fire District 5 crews sandbagging at least two homes in the Hoko-Ozette area and Fire District 1 delivering bottled water to some in Forks and La Push, said Detective Sgt. John Keegan of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

Keegan said some residents of Whitcomb-Diimmel Road reported flooded septic systems on Saturday. Bottled water was delivered to those homes as well as to some in La Push.

More bottled water is available on the West End if more complaints come in, Keegan said.

He added that the City of Forks had staged a water truck at Tillicum Park; it wasn’t potable water, he said, but it could help with flushing toilets.

The storm “moved a little farther north than initially anticipated and then started to drift south,” Butwin said. “It oscillated between Vancouver Island and the North Olympic Peninsula before slipping farther south this afternoon.”

Although emergency managers were prepared for a deluge, most of Vancouver Island received lighter-than-expected rainfall, according to the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Areas on the Peninsula protected by the rain shadow received about a half-inch to a full inch of rain over the weekend, Butwin said. That included Port Angeles and Sequim but also extended to Port Townsend, where about a half-inch of rain fell with perhaps one-fourth inch in Port Ludlow, she said.

Wind was not a problem. More wind gusts were seen in the Everett area, Butwin said.

No new slides were reported this weekend.

A storm on Nov. 15 caused a massive slide on state Highway 112 near Clallam Bay that continues to block the road. It also caused a slide on U.S. Highway 101 south of Forks that has been cleared enough to allow alternating one-lane traffic but which the state Department of Transportation won’t open fully until a hillside is repaired.

People in the small communities of Sumas and Everson in northwest Washington were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, The Bellingham Herald reported. Both towns near the Canadian border saw extreme flooding from the previous storm.

Officials in Sumas said the Nooksack River had not yet gone over its banks in Everson as of Sunday morning, the newspaper reported, but the river was still expected to go over in the afternoon.

A broad flood watch for western Washington was in effect until Monday morning. There were also flood warnings for some local rivers.

Another atmospheric river — a huge plume of moisture extending over the Pacific and into the Northwest — is expected to come in on Tuesday.

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