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Flood warning issued for Puyallup River above Orting

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
March 30, 2011 4:25 pm

Pierce County crews are monitoring the Puyallup River above Orting as a second round of rain moves into Western Washington.

A flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for the river expires Thursday afternoon.

“There is a pretty good-sized system moving this way,” said Tony Fantello, who oversees the county’s 92 miles of levees. “All indicators now are that we are going to see some bank full conditions but not to the degree we’ve seen in recent flooding history.”

As of this afternoon, the Puyallup River was flowing at 2,140 cubic feet per second. A provisional flood flow is 4,500 cubic feet per second.

Areas likely to be affected include Neadham Road, Orville Road East in areas south of Brooks Road East and north of Electron and the Tomolla Tree Farm vicinity.

The lowlands have seen about a half-inch of rain since a Pacific storm system swept warmer temperatures and high winds into the region today.

Forecasters say another inch or so could fall by Thursday.

The northern and southern Cascades near Mount Rainier are expected to receive up to 4 inches and the Olympics should see 5 inches. Nearly 7 inches are forecast for the Central Cascades.

Paradise saw 2.5 inches of rain overnight Tuesday and officials at the White Pass Ski area shut down this morning at Paradise Basin due to high winds.

The freezing level jumped from 4,000 feet late Tuesday to 9,000 feet, prompting a NWS warning of heightened avalanche danger.

Temperatures on Thursday and Friday should remain in the high 50s, dropping into the low 50s Saturday as the rain turns to light showers.

Winds will also kick up Thursday, blowing from the south between 18 to 23 mph with 30 mph gusts.

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