UPDATED 5:40 p.m.

The Skagit River crested Saturday afternoon in east Skagit County, forcing some residents in Hamilton to evacuate their homes. High winds earlier in the weekend left several thousand without power, and a landslide north of Burlington in Whatcom County closed northbound lanes of I-5 on Saturday morning through late afternoon.

The river crested at 30.66 feet — just above the threshold for moderate flooding — late Saturday afternoon, according to a U.S. Geological Survey site in Concrete.

South Street in Hamilton was covered with 2 inches of water and was under Level 1 evacuation as of 3 p.m. Saturday, according to an emergency alert from Skagit County. 

An emergency shelter opened at Lyman Elementary School in Lyman for those affected by flooding and power outages.

Hamilton Mayor Carla Vandiver said she estimated residents in 10 trailers on South Street had to evacuate. She said crews were still working to restore power lines early Saturday evening, with the goal to restore power by noon Sunday.

Earlier Saturday, the town had sandbagged roads to reduce flood damage.

About 2,800 remained without power in Skagit County at about 3 p.m. Saturday, according to Skagit County officials.

A flood watch remains in effect through Sunday morning.

In Mount Vernon, the Skagit River is expected to crest at 31.41 feet at 10 a.m. Sunday, according to a monitoring site in Mount Vernon.

As a precaution, city of Mount Vernon crews began to deploy floodwall stop logs at the south end of the riverwalk on Saturday afternoon, though major flooding was not in the forecast, according to a news release.

Though the Skagit River is forecast to fall below flood stage Sunday evening, flooding may still occur along low-lying areas from Sedro-Woolley downstream to Rockport and impact farmland and residential neighborhoods, according to the National Weather Service. 

As of noon Saturday, the Samish River was just under its flood stage of 10.58 feet, according to a monitoring site.

In Lyman, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews were working around-the-clock to extend a rock trench to protect the town from flooding.

The town of Lyman declared an emergency last week in preparation for potential flooding and called on the corps crew to extend a 500-foot rock trench to stabilize the river bank from erosion and protect Main Street from flooding.

"As soon as I saw the forecast (earlier this week), I knew we wouldn't be able to make it," Lyman Mayor Eddie Hills said Saturday morning as he watched the crews work on the trench.

John Springer, an electrical engineer for the corps, said crews are digging a 30-foot trench and filling it with 2,000- to 4,000-pound boulders. The work will extend a previously constructed trench to 800 feet. The corps plans to add 9,000 tons of rock in total, he said.

Though flooding was in the forecast, it didn't stop visitors from coming to downtown Mount Vernon and enjoying sunny weather. Greg Martin and Laura Rogers, both of Anacortes, gathered at the Riverwalk on Saturday afternoon to watch floating logs and debris come down the river after attending the Birds of Winter Art Walk.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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