BELLINGHAM — Minor flooding is possible through Thursday as more rain falls in a part of Washington state that experienced severe flooding earlier this month amid a series of soaking storms.
Forecasters said 2 inches of rain could fall starting Tuesday in Whatcom County just south of the Canadian border and up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) was possible in surrounding mountains.
“Any flooding that does occur will likely be minor,” the National Weather Service said.
People in the small communities of Sumas and Everson in northwest Washington were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night.
Hundreds of people earlier this month were evacuated from those towns amid severe flooding from days of rain that caused an estimated $50 million in damage to Whatcom County.
Water levels were continuing to drop Tuesday morning in Sumas, city officials said in a Facebook post.
“There is still a lot of water that needs to drain out of the affected areas. All of this rain could delay how quickly that will happen,” the post said.
Many local roads in the area and around the city of Bellingham were closed Sunday and Monday because of water over the roadway and some schools in the region kept students out of classes as a safety precaution.
A landslide Sunday blocked part of northbound Interstate 5 south of Bellingham and officials said an increased threat of landslides will remain for several days.
Bellingham city officials said rainwater exceeded pumping capacity at times on Sunday resulting in an overflow that discharged about 9 million gallons (40.9 million liters) of sewage water into Bellingham Bay.
“The impacts to water quality as the result of the need for sewage overflow are expected to be minimal,” a city statement said.
With 18.91 inches (48 centimeters) of rain recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between Sept. 1 and Nov. 28, and the impending rain Tuesday, 2021 could end up as the wettest early September-November period for the Seattle area on record.
The second wettest September-November period in Seattle was recorded in 2006, with 18.61 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service’s office in the city.