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King County Flood Warning Center: Steady rain sends Tolt River up to Phase 3 flood alert

Summary

Pushed higher by steady rainfall, the Tolt River has reached a Phase 3 flood alert level, with moderate and widespread flooding possible upstream of Carnation, according to the King County Flood Warning Center, which has been monitoring conditions on several rivers since the evening of Sunday, Feb. 14.

Story

As of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the Tolt River recorded a flow of 5,230Flood Control Zone District Logo cubic feet per second (CFS), exceeding the Phase 3 flood alert threshold of 5,000 CFS.
 
At these flows, deep and fast floodwaters could inundate areas of the San Souci neighborhood along the river east of Carnation. Some roads could overtop with floodwaters and be closed to ensure public safety.

Rivers elsewhere in King County continue to run high and fast as a result of a potent winter storm that brought heavy and persistent rainfall to much of western Washington.

The Snoqualmie River reached a Phase 3 flood alert level earlier on Monday, Feb. 15. And while flows have slackened somewhat in the upper reaches of the Snoqualmie basin, moderate flood flows were still working their way downstream through the lower valley as of 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Flows remain high along the Green River as a result of planned releases from a flood-control dam. As of 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the Green River at Auburn recorded a flow of 7,420 CFS, slightly higher than the Phase 2 flood alert threshold of 7,000 CFS. At these flows, only minor flooding could be expected in the upper and middle reaches of the Green River upstream of Auburn.

Flood Warning Center employees will continue to monitor stream gages and weather reports, and will provide updated information on river conditions as necessary. Real-time river level information is available online at kingcounty.gov/flood.

During river flooding events, King County serves as a clearinghouse for information on flood conditions, operating a recorded message center with continuous updates of river gage readings and flood phases and other related information. Reach the Flood Warning Center at 206-296-8200 or 1-800-945-9263. Interpreter assistance in multiple languages is available.
 
King County offers everyone free access to KC Flood Alerts, an automated system that allows subscribers to receive customized alerts of potential flooding for any or all of King County’s six major river systems.

Immediate notifications about pending high water are sent to email, smart phone, text or voicemail, providing subscribers with the maximum amount of warning about potential high water.

Find the KC Flood Alerts link at kingcounty.gov/flood. This website is a valuable preparedness resource, with all of the latest information about river levels and road conditions, plus weather reports and other critical links.

Questions or assistance with flooding on smaller streams or urban drainage problems can be called in to 206-296-1900 during business hours, or 206-296-8100 after hours or on weekends.

Problems on County maintained roads can be reported by calling 206-296-8100 or 1-800-KC-ROADS.
 
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The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County. The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council. The Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks develops and implements the approved flood protection projects and programs. Information is available at kingcountyfloodcontrol.org.