King County opens flood-warning center as rivers rise
January 7, 2009 · Updated 8:09 AM
The King County Flood Warning Center was opened at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to monitor minor flooding on the Tolt River and to prepare for the likelihood of significant flooding on the Snoqualmie River and other river systems, as a powerful tropical storm moved into the region Tuesday, according to county officials.
The Cedar River was running well below flood stage at downtown Renton Tuesday evening.
As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Tolt River near Carnation was flowing at 2,570 cubic feet per second (cfs). The threshold for a Phase II flood alert level on the Tolt is 2,500 cfs. Some roads in low-lying areas could overtop with floodwaters as a result of these flows.
A Phase II warning on any major King County river is the level of the county's four-phase warning system at which the Flood Warning Center is activated to monitor lowland flooding. It will remain open and continue to monitor the river flooding until conditions improve.
Flood Warning Center staff are monitoring stream gauges and weather reports, and will provide updated information on river conditions as necessary. Flood patrol crews will also begin monitoring conditions from the field later tonight. Flood Warning Center staff will continue to monitor stream gauges and weather reports and provide updated information on river conditions as necessary.
Real-time river level information is available online at www.kingcounty.gov/environment/waterandland/flooding/warning-system.aspx. Updated information on flooding will also be posted on the King County Web site at www.kingcounty.gov, or via RPIN, the area's regional Web site at www.rpin.org.
A recorded flood-information hotline is also updated each hour for citizens wanting information in flood areas. The number is 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263. Citizens who need help interpreting flood information should call 206-296-4535 or 1-800-768-7932. Problems on county maintained roads can be reported by calling 206-296-8100 or 1-800-KC-ROADS.
With another winter storm on the way, Washington state Department of Transportation crews are asking motorists to anticipate delays caused by avalanche control and, possibly, flooding that affects state highways. Motorists should be prepared for winter driving conditions in the mountain passes and the potential for flooding throughout Washington state.