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Natural Resources and Parks

King County, Washington

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Jan. 7, 2009

Cedar River joins Tolt, Snoqualmie rivers at Phase IV flood alert

After receding, Issaquah Creek climbs back to Phase III flood alert

King County has issued a Phase IV flood alert for the Cedar River, where a water release by Seattle Public Utilities from Chester Morse Dam is expected to keep stream flows dramatically elevated into Thursday evening.

The Cedar is one of several rivers and streams that staff at the King County Flood Warning Center have been closely monitoring since the center opened at 4 p.m. Tuesday in response to flood conditions created by heavy rains and melting snow. River levels also remain dangerously high on the Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers, with Phase IV flood alerts in effect and major flooding occurring across much of those watersheds.

The Flood Warning Center also reported Wednesday night that Issaquah Creek has climbed back up to a Phase III flood alert level after receding significantly this morning.
While the water level is beginning to drop on the upper Snoqualmie, river flows near Carnation are expected to approach or surpass record levels as high water moves through the system. The river was expected to crest near Carnation at roughly 10 a.m. Thursday at a record-setting flood stage of more than 62 feet. Severe flooding is expected from Fall City downstream through Carnation and Duvall.

As for the Cedar River, a peak flow possibly reaching 7,000 cubic feet per second is expected to occur between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Thursday morning. Major flooding is possible from Landsburg downstream through Maplewood. Deep and swift flood waters could inundate many roads and some residential areas, especially in Maple Valley, and possibly overtop State Route 169.

Flood Warning Center staff will continue to monitor stream gauges and weather reports and provide updated information on river conditions as necessary. Real-time river level information is available online at

Updated information on flooding will also be posted on the King County Web site at, or via RPIN, the area's regional Web site at A recorded flood-information hotline is also updated each hour for citizens wanting information in flood areas. The number is 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263.

Citizens who need help interpreting flood information should call 206-296-4535 or 1-800-768-7932. Problems on county maintained roads can be reported by calling 206-296-8100 or 1-800-KC-ROADS.

Related information

Flooding Services and Information

River and Floodplain Management Section

Water and Land Resources Division