• UPDATES: Storm system moves in; thousands without power


    WASHINGTON - Stormy weather is happening across Western Washington, bringing flooding, high winds and heavy rain.

    3 quick things to know about weather:

    • Duration of strong wind more important than peak wind speeds. Some larger, weakened trees could fall
    • Rain through Saturday, tapering Saturday night, prompting a flood watch on the coast and most Western Wash. counties
    • You can stay updated on weather with alerts by using the free KIRO 7 weather app. Click here to download.

    Weather happening now in Western Washington

    >> We're logging storm updates as they happen. Check back throughout the day for the latest news.

    [6:11 p.m.]  Flood warnings are up for most rivers in Western Washington, but more storm is left for Western Washington. There's a brief window early Sunday morning for snowflakes to mix with rain at lower elevations away from Puget Sound.


    [6 p.m.] The Skokomish river rose more than three feet in 24 hours to reach the major flood stage.

    [5 p.m.] KIRO 7 Chopper flew over the Snoqualmie River. It's not the only river under a Flood Watch. It forced some people to evacuate. The fire department had to help some escape the rising water.

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    [3 p.m.] KIRO 7 News' Graham Johnson is following the Skokomish River flooding. Locals say it is the highest they have ever seen. 


    [1:10 p.m.] An outage in Mukilteo, likely wind-related, is currently affecting 1,200 customers. Crews are patrolling the circuit, according to Snohomish County PUD.

    [12:51 p.m.] Kirkland police say the north entrance to Holmes Point Drive Northeast and Juanita Drive Northeast is closed until further notice due to a fallen tree over the road.

    [12:25 p.m.] Bainbridge Island Fire Department reports that wires down in the 8700 block of Battle Point Drive have knocked out power in the area.

    [12:15 p.m.] Outage in Vaughn area effecting 700 meters. Cause unknown and crew has been dispatched, according to Peninsula Light Co.

    [12:10 p.m.] Weather will continue to be active Friday afternoon.

    Rain will continue to be heavy at times with breezy to windy weather for the rest of the day.  Look for 15-30 mile-per-hour wind over the sound with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. 

    The steady and heavy rain will ease a bit tonight in the far north sound, but generally it's safe to say that everyone will see plenty of rain over the next 24-36 hours.  To read more forecast details, scroll down, or click here.

    Flooding is possible on all areas rivers in Western Washington, so stay with KIRO 7 for the lastest updates on river conditions.  We've logged flooded rivers so far, below.

    [11:41 a.m.] Skokomish Valley Road is closed for flooding with water on the street.


    [10:12 a.m.] Taholah School District: Early release, all aft/eve activities canceled. Taholah School district closed at 11:30 a.m. There will be Middle School Basket ball practice at 11:30 a.m. Cory Smith will be there. 

    [9:56 a.m.]  New flood warning: Snoqualmie River downstream of falls expected to flood

    [9:40 a.m.] Snoqualmie River at Phase III flood alert. Moderate and widespread flooding expected in the Snoqualmie Valley.


    [9:01 a.m.] Wind advisory now in effect until 3 p.m. Friday.

    [8:48 a.m.] New flood warnings posted for northand south forks of the Stillaguamish and the south fork of the Nooksack

    [8:32 a.m.] New flood warning for Dungeness River near Sequim


    [8:30 a.m.] Skokomish River in Mason County is at major flood stage

    [8:09 a.m.] All schools in Mount Baker School District are closed due to power outage and flooding in some areas. More school delays, closures here.

    [7:44 a.m.] 7,044 Puget Sound Energy customers without power.

    [7:32 a.m.] 520 Bridge wind speeds: Sustained wind 33 mph with gusts of 44 mph


    [7 a.m.] Snohomish County PUD: Outage in Edmonds/West Lynnwood area, likely weather-related, affecting about 750 customers.

    [6:50 a.m.]  More than 3,000 customers without power in Bellevue. A tree is believed to have hit a power line. Estimated total Puget Sound Energy customers affected: 6,828

    [6:30 a.m.] King County Flood Warning Center opens to monitor minor flooding on Snoqualmie River

    [6:17 a.m.] The Snoqualmie River has reached flood phase two, which means minor flooding.

    [6:01 a.m.]  Lake Quinault SD: 2 Hours Late, No AM preschool.  

    [5:59 a.m.] List of rivers under flood warnings: Bogachiel, Elwha, Satsop, Skykomish, Skokomish.

    [5:55 a.m.] Mt. Baker SD: All schools will have a 90-minute delayed start time because of power outage 


    [4:46 a.m.]  The Tolt River near Carnation is flowing at 1,700 cubic feet per second. By tomorrow it could go to nearly 7,000 cubic feet per second. Tolt River Road NE and driveways in the area could see minor flooding.

    [5:10 a.m.] New power outage in Enumclaw; total number of Puget Sound Energy customers without power is 3,628.

    >> SLIDESHOW: Take a look at the northwest's active weather with these forecast images

    [4:28 a.m.] Sustained wind speeds: Seattle: 25 mph, Bremerton: 32 mph, Everett: 40 mph, Olympia: 30, Forks: 36

    [4:27 a.m.] Wind advisory to end at 10 a.m. Friday instead of 4 p.m.

    [4:23 a.m.] Sustained wind of 30 mph with gusts of 35 mph on SR 520 Bridge

    [4:13 a.m.] Expected rain totals through Sunday: 1-3" North Sound, Central and South Sound: 2-4" South interior: 3-5"  Cascades: 5-12" Olympics: 6-15"

    [4:10 a.m.] Rain heavy in North Sound, over Olympics. Heavy rain will fall in South Sound from 7 a.m. to noon.

    [4:09 a.m.] Winds gusting at 30 mph on SR 520 Bridge

    [4:05 a.m.] Wind gusts at 22mph at Boeing field

    [4 a.m.] New flood warning in effect for the Skykomish River near Gold Bar. Minor flooding expected.

    [3:50 a.m.] About 5,000 Puget Sound Energy customers are without power in areas such as Langley, Deming, Kent, Oak Harbor and Issaquah. Click here to see outage map.

    [3:22 a.m.]  Flood watch for Elwha River at McDonald Bridge affecting Clallam County and the  Satsop River near Satsop affecting Grays Harbor County.

    What to expect in upcoming weather

    A flood watch is in effect through Sunday morning for multiple Western Washington counties.

    "You're going to see inches and inches of rain and this will more than likely last at least until Sunday," said meteorologist Nick Allard.

    The flood watch includes King, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Clallam, Grays, Jefferson, Mason, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

    Expect another half an inch to an inch of rain over the central sound on Friday and on Saturday, with more possible in the South Sound and southwest interior. 

    Heavy rain could cause river flooding this weekend.


    The steady rain will taper to showers late tomorrow and much cooler weather on Seahawks' Sunday, so expect scattered showers if you're heading to the game or to tailgate.  The snow level will fall down to about 2,000 feet so if you're traveleing over the passes, expect some snow. We could pick up more than a foot of snow even at the lower passes during this period.

    There is much uncertainty in the longer-range, but the chance for showers will continue. 

    Preparing for the storm in Seattle

    This is an El Nino year, which typically means warmer winters in the Pacific Northwest.

    On Monday officials with Seattle City Light also warned it sometimes means volatility.

    They pointed to the Hanukah Eve storm in 2006, another El Nino year.

    That storm knocked out the power to 1.8 million homes and businesses, and corresponded with a stretch of freezing temperatures.

    >> SLIDESHOW: A look ahead at the northwest's active weather

    We're setting up for another El Nino like we had in 2006," said Richard Moralez, South Operations Manager for Seattle City Light.

    Moralez said City Light crews are ready for whatever comes later this week, and throughout the season.

    Because of the potential for trees falling into power lines, when wind gusts are forecast to exceed 30 miles per hour, City Light starts ramping up for a possible response.

    Gusts over 40 miles per hour put crews in standby mode.

    Officials with City Light, and Take Winter By Storm, emphasized the need for individuals to prepare.

    City Light recently upgraded its outage management system, so customers can get the latest information online.


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