Snoqualmie River reaches Flood Phase 2; minor flooding expected in low-lying areas

SEATTLE -- King County announced Tuesday night that the Snoqualmie River had reached Flood Phase 2, which means minor flooding is expected on low-lying areas.

With more soaking rains on the way, the National Weather Service on Monday had issued a Flood Watch for much of Western Washington from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

The Flood Watch will cover portions of the following counties -- Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Skagit, Whatcom, King, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston.

"A couple of storm systems will produce a lot of rain, heavy at times, over the Olympic and Cascade mountains Tuesday through Wednesday. The first shot of rain Tuesday and Tuesday night will produce 3 to 5 inches of rain over the mountains. The second shot Wednesday and Wednesday night will produce 2 to 4 and a half inches of rain," the NWS said.

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The snow level will be above 8,000 feet, meaning for all but the highest peaks the precipitation will be in the form of rain and not snow. With the double shot of rain so close together, the accumulative effect could be enough to drive multiple rivers to flood, the NWS said.

"At this time, river models show whatever flooding does occur to stay in the minor category. Potential rivers at risk are the Nooksack, Skagit, Snoqualmie White and Skokomish Rivers as well as others," NWS said.

A Flood Watch means there is a "potential" for flooding based on current forecasts.