About a foot of rain has fallen in the area since Jan. 1, including 2.3 inches during a 72-hour stretch last week.

The deluge filled Stanwood-Camano area streams and drainage ditches faster than they could drain, causing rainwater to spill over roadways.

“These storms caused injuries, significant power outages, evacuations, road damage, temporary road closures and detours, rail line closures, and extensive damage to homes, businesses, public utilities, public facilities, electrical power systems, infrastructure and property,” Gov. Jay Inslee said last week while proclaiming a state of emergency in 19 Western Washington counties. 

The 12.16 inches of rain recorded in the Seattle area since Jan. 1 ranked as the third-most on record, according to the National Weather Service. Arlington airport recorded 10.5 inches of rain so far this year. Normal rainfall is about 6 inches.

While the steady rains didn’t push the Stillaguamish to flood stage, it did prompt several smaller streams to spill their banks and cross roads in Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom counties.

On Camano, a stream near the intersection of Sunset Drive and Madrona Beach Road backed up and crossed the roadway, flooding a handful of homes. Elsewhere on the island, other creeks overpowered culverts and crept onto roads.

Road damage caused by recent rain and snow is estimated at more than $3 million, according to the state. The state of emergency proclamation directs state agencies to utilize state resources to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities. It also allows the state to apply for federal Department of Transportation money to help permanently repair roadways.

Wind gusts Friday evening reached 47 mph at the Arlington airport and 49 mph at Oak Harbor.

Flooded rivers are draining slowly, including the Pilchuck River near Snohomish, which caused the most damage in the area. The heavily saturated soils pose an elevated risk of landslides, weather officials said.

The next storm is expected to sweep through the region late Thursday, forecasters said. 


Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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