February 21, 2012
NEW: 2:03 p.m. Feb. 22
A rising Snoqualmie River forced road closures in the Valley Feb. 22.
According to the Regional Public Information Network, flooding had closed Meadowbrook Bridge between Park Avenue Southeast and Reinig Road Southeast, Mill Pond Road between Reinig and Southeast Mill Pond Road, Reinig between 396th Drive Southeast and Southeast Mill Pond Road, and Northern Street at the 38300 block.
The City of Snoqualmie activated its Emergency Operations Center Feb. 22, to answer residents and business owners’ questions and concerns about flooding.The center’s phone number is 425-888-5911.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Transportation stopped eastbound traffic on I-90 at milepost 47 near Denny Creek to clear out several spun out vehicles near the summit of Snoqualmie Pass. As of 12:47 p.m. Feb. 22, the pass had reopened.
December 29, 2011
King County has closed its Flood Warning Center for Snoqualmie River after rising water levels triggered its opening Wednesday morning. Heavy rains had raised the river’s flow levels above the threshold requiring county staff to monitor the situation.
Clear weather during the night of Dec. 28 and the following morning allowed the water level to subside. The county closed its warning center by 9 a.m. Dec. 29.
December 28, 2011
The King County Flood Warning Center opened at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, to monitor rising flows on the Snoqualmie River from heavy rainfall in the area.
That morning, the sum of the Snoqualmie River’s three forks was flowing at 12,010 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is just above the 12,000 cfs threshold for a Phase II flood alert level.
November 22, 2011
As levels rise, the flood watch continues for the Snoqualmie River.
As of 11:01 a.m. Nov. 23, most Western Washington rivers are cresting, and the Snoqualmie is expected to crest just below flood stage.
As of 6 p.m. Nov. 23, King County has issued a provisional Phase 1 alert, with the caveat that no flooding typically occurs on Phase 1. Read more
September 22, 2011
Work on the upper part of Snoqualmie Falls Park is nearly finished, two years after Puget Sound begin the restoration project. The design work for the redevelopment of the lower park is almost finished but that phase of the project has not started yet.
More work is underway that isn’t as apparent to visitors to the 268-foot waterfall. All parts of the $240 million project are still on track to wrap up by 2013, according to PSE spokesman Roger Thompson.
PSE is also restoring a former train depot and carpenter shop on the river’s west bank south of the falls. The utility company is also in the process of overhauling the heart of its operations at Snoqualmie Falls — two hydroelectric power plants that will generate about 54 megawatts of energy. That is a 20 percent increase over its existing production, which relies on turbines that are more than a century old.
May 12, 2011
On Jan. 7, 2009, Lois Nicholas came home from an event at Snoqualmie Methodist Church and found a note on her door: She had an hour to evacuate her home.
The Snoqualmie River was quickly rising and threatening to flood the area.
The 85-year-old woman moves deliberately with a cane. She and her live-in caregiver rounded up their cat and three lap dogs, and left for North Bend, where Nicholas’ son lives.
The river rose, inundating her home on Southeast Northern Street with 18 inches of flood water.
“The refrigerator in our garage almost floated out the door,” Nicholas said.
It was three months before she could move back into her home.
She still lives in the same house, about 100 yards from the river.
March 9, 2011
Flooding is a part of life in the Snoqualmie Valley. It is a question of when, not if, the Snoqualmie River will spill over its banks.
That constant dynamic has kept the King County Flood Control District busy since it was created in 2007.
But falling house prices threatened the district’s ability to collect taxes this year. A state cap on property taxes for newer taxing districts threatened to cut off its revenue.
A last minute deal with eight fire districts saved the district’s 2011 levy. But the flood control district was expected to face the same problem in 2012.
The state Legislature has granted the flood control district at least a temporary reprieve.
February 9, 2011
Snoqualmie’s Riverside Mobile Home Park is no more. Backhoes tore down the remaining trailers in the flood-prone park perched along the Snoqualmie River in the Meadowbrook neighborhood.
King County used county, state and federal money to buy the 20 mobile homes and other structures in the park.
It was one of the largest home acquisition projects in the Pacific Northwest to date, according to Dennis Hunsinger, the regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The project cost more than $1.4 million. Seventy-five percent of the money came from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, while the state and county contributed the difference.
The trailer park sat in the FEMA-mapped floodway and was regularly inundated with water when the nearby river overflowed its banks.
Following the January 2009 flood, King County submitted the site for acquisition under the FEMA program.
January 17, 2011
Billy “Bud” Rhynalds loved his job and loved helping people. He was doing both on State Route 203 south of Carnation at about 9 p.m. Sunday when a falling tree killed the Washington State Department of Transportation worker.
Rhynalds, a member of WSDOT’s road maintenance crew based in Preston, had been called out to help close roads due to flooding in Snoqualmie Valley. The 12-year veteran of the department had gone to set up traffic cones to keep drivers away from downed power lines when a cottonwood fell and hit him in his truck.
“I am so proud of him, because all he ever wanted to do was help other people,” his sister, Candi Smith said. “That’s what he was out doing last night.”
January 14, 2011
Two roads near Carnation were closed due to flooding from the Snoqualmie River caused by sustained rainfall. King County set the river at flood phase two, which entails lowland flooding. At that stage, the river could overtop roads near the Meadowbrook area in Snoqualmie.
By mid-afternoon Friday the sum of the river’s three forks was 15,470 cubic feet per second. The threshold for flood phase two is 12,000 cfs. Stage phase is 20,000 cfs.
The Snoqualmie River is expected to crest Sunday morning at just above 23,000 cfs, according to the National Weather Service Northwest River Forecast Center. That is well below the nearly 30,000 cfs recorded during the Dec. 12-13 flooding.