SEATTLE — Record-breaking flooding in Snohomish County has submerged roadways and forced vehicle and home evacuations.
The Stillaguamish River reached over 21.3 feet in Arlington on Tuesday afternoon, breaking the record of 21.16 feet in 2010, according to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.
The 24-hour rainfall total near the river reached nearly 6 inches by Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Neighborhoods along the South Fork of the Stillaguamish were inundated with water on roadways and in yards.
Moderate flooding continues along the Skykomish River, and the Snohomish River is expected to climb toward major flooding Wednesday. An additional 1 to 2 inches are expected to fall overnight into Wednesday.
The precipitation that has already fallen is draining into Puget Sound and will bring local water levels down.
A home in Gold Bar was evacuated, said Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Courtney O’Keefe.
Residents should check the Snohomish Count Hazard Viewer to see if their area is in a flood plain, said Lucia Schmit, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management director.
Schmit said some residents have still attempted to drive into road closures where there is running water, and fire departments performed several vehicle rescues Tuesday.
“You can’t tell how deep the water is until you’re in it,” Schmit said. “It’s better to be late … than to not make it home at all.”
It only takes 6 inches of standing water to knock someone off their feet and 1 foot of running water to float a small car, Schmit said.
“Our rivers flood, this is an event we knew was coming … We were trying to get the message out in advance that this was going to be a serious event and to take it seriously,” Schmit said. “I’m hopeful that many residents got that message and opted to get out.”