US north-west dodges new ‘atmospheric river’ flooding but threat remains

Though flooding expected to threaten parts of the US north-west turned out not too bad on Sunday, officials urged residents to remain alert because more rain was on the way to an area subject to lingering effects from extreme weather earlier this month.

“There’s some good news and some pending news,” said Steve Reedy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

The NWS on Saturday warned that flooding was possible through Sunday in north-western Washington, but an “atmospheric river” – a huge plume of moisture extending over the Pacific and into the US north-west – moved farther north into Canada than expected.

Parts of Canada were also badly hit by flooding this month. Experts say manmade climate change is behind more frequent extreme weather events.

미국에서, Reedy said “the impacts” as Saturday turned into Sunday “weren’t quite as bad as we were anticipating”.

After a respite, rain reentered the area later on Sunday, which could cause some “nuisance flooding”, 그는 덧붙였다, and rivers could start to rise again in the afternoon.

“The flooding isn’t going to be quite as bad as we were expecting 24 hours ago but it still looks like some rivers up there could get into minor, maybe even moderate flooding,” Reedy said.

The big question is how some communities would fare after heavy damage from the previous storm. People in the small communities of Sumas and Everson in north-west Washington were asked to evacuate voluntarily on Saturday night, the Bellingham Herald reported. Both towns near the Canadian border saw extreme flooding from the previous storm.

Officials in Sumas said the Nooksack river had not gone over its banks in Everson as of Sunday morning, the newspaper reported, but was still expected to do so in the afternoon.

A broad flood watch for western Washington was in effect until Monday morning. There were also flood warnings for some local rivers.

Reedy cautioned motorists not to drive into standing water on roadways near rivers.

“It doesn’t take a lot of water to push your car around – or truck,“ he said. “Some people think just because they have a large truck, they can mow through. That’s not always the case.”

While rain will taper off on Monday, another system is headed to the area starting on Tuesday and spilling into Wednesday, Reedy said.

“On the bright side of things, it does still look like after we get into Wednesday, conditions look dry after the second half of the week,”그는 말했다. “So hopefully there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.”

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