2 potential flood events raising concerns in Skagit County

SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. — The risk of two major flood events between Friday night and early next week is the cause of a lot of concern in Skagit County.

On Friday, crews worked to repair a section of damaged levee along the Skagit River in an effort to prevent flooding in downtown Mount Vernon.

“Folk who live in flood-prone areas should also be preparing to take action whether that’s sandbagging or moving if need be,” said Laura Han with Skagit County.

The river is rising fast and could potentially create dangerous conditions for those who live in low-lying areas.

“Thirty foot is a moderate flood stage. At that level folks are starting to get wet,” Han told KIRO 7.

However, it is not the potential flooding this weekend that is getting a lot of attention but the potential flooding the area could see again early next week, and the dangerous conditions flooding can create on higher ground.

“With that level of soil saturation, there is a special weather statement out for an increased risk of landslides,” Han said.

At times like this, it’s the land itself that can be the best defense against rising rivers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dumped more than 15 tons of rocks to shore up the levies in Mount Vernon.

“We have trucks coming basically from there nonstop, delivering rock. As you see, they’re coming about every seven to eight minutes,” said Tony Doersam with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

City workers said the river would have to crest at 32 feet in order for flooding to happen.

And with the Puget Sound area preparing for two back-to-back flood events only days apart, crews are racing against time to get the work done should the water meet that threshold.

“We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature, so we have to watch the river, to watch the rain storms as they come in,” said Peter Donovan with the city of Mount Vernon.

For those living in low-lying areas, it is recommended to have a go-bag ready, so in case one needs to leave, it can be done quickly. Residents are also advised to stay tuned into local reports about river levels.