ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

New band of rain to pound Pacific Northwest amid mudslide concerns

A band of powerful storms that hit the Pacific Northwest of the United States this week were expected to ease on Friday, while local officials warned of more mudslides and flooding following record rainfall in a region known for its wet weather.

2196513+2015-12-11T103659Z_2_LYNXMPEBBA0HM_RTROPTP_4_OREGON-STORMS.jpg
A tree branch is pictured on Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast as crews work to restore a broken power pole in Issaquah, Wash. REUTERS/Jason Redmond

A band of powerful storms that hit the Pacific Northwest of the United States this week were expected to ease on Friday, while local officials warned of more mudslides and flooding following record rainfall in a region known for its wet weather.

Periods of heavy rain and fierce winds will stretch across Washington state, Oregon and Northern California as the next installment of storms moves onshore, and warnings of coastal floods were issued for 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. local time on Friday(1100 to 1700 GMT), the NationalWeather Service said.

In addition to more rainfall, strong winds and mountain snow were forecast across the Cascades, Sierra and northern Rockies.

Rivers across the region were under a flood warning until Friday night.

In Oregon, where two women died in storm-related accidents, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for 13 counties.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Heavy rains and wind have required the evacuation of residences, and mudslides and high water have severely damaged or blocked major roadways in these areas of the state,โ€ she said in a statement.

Meteorologists say the El Nino weather phenomenon, which can trigger above-average precipitation in areas such as the Pacific Northwest, is expected to remain strong through this winter.

This week's unusually powerful storms broke at least five weather records for the Seattle area, including the wettest first nine days in December, forced the closure of a major interstate and swamped dozens of other streets and bridges.

The storm felled trees, knocked out power to thousands of customers, and sent streams and rivers overflowing their banks.

Emergency management officials in both Washington and Oregon have warned of more mudslides after days of ground saturation.

In Oregon, a 60-year-old Portland woman died in bed this week when a tree fell on her house and another woman drowned when her car became submerged in high water in the state's north, officials said.

In a rare event for the Pacific Northwest, the National Weather Service on Thursday said it had received reports of a moderate-strength tornado in Battle Ground, Washington.

What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT