winter flooding in OregonA state of emergency was declared by the Governor, Jay Inslee in Washington State on 18th November 2015. The state of emergence was declared after the state was struck by series of storms starting from 13th November. The storms also affected Oregon State.

The storms resulted in extreme rainfall and high winds, resulting in saturated soils, major flooding, landslides, stream slope and bank erosion, uprooted and broken trees, fallen tree branches and flying debris.

3 Deaths due to storms:

The havoc created by the storms lead to the death of 3 people. All the three deaths were caused because of wind damage. There was widespread damage to property as well. Thousands of businesses and homes were left without power as winds of 70 miles per hour (113 kph) blew across the area. Because of strong winds a number of business and homes saw structural damage. Many trees were uprooted or broken. The storms also lead to the closure of different important roads and rail roads. There was also significant damage to public utilities and public facilities.

After widespread damage, state of emergency was declared for all the counties in the state of Washington. The state departments and agencies were directed to make use of the state resources for helping in the affected areas.

Governor’s Statement:

According to the statement of the Governor, the storms caused injuries to many citizens and resulted in major power outages, temporary closure of roads, evacuations, closure of rail roads, and cancellation of airline and ferry system. It was also mentioned in the statement that as a result of storms, there was extensive damage to businesses, homes, public facilities, public utilities, infrastructure, electrical power systems and property.

Wildlife Damage made the flooding worse:

There are also concerns that landslides, erosions, and flooding during harsh weather was exacerbated by the wildfire damage. Various areas of Washington State got affected by major damage from wildfire between the months of July and September (2015). The wildfire resulted in large areas being cleared off from trees and plants.

Rainfall

According to NWS Seattle on 17 November record levels of rainfall were recorded. It was tweeted on their Twitter account. It was mentioned by them that on 17th November record rainfall of 2.08 inches (60mm) was recorded, while the previous record was 1.61 inches, it was in 1959.

The rainfall at Sea-Tac airport on 17 November was also record breaking 30mm (1.16 inches). The previous record was 1.06 inches which was in 1982. In Astoria, Oregon State the recorded rainfall was 2.6 inches (68mm) on 17 November 2015.

River Levels

NWS issued flood warnings for a number of rivers in Washington State. The rivers for which flood warnings were issued included Snohomish in the Snohomish County, Skagit in the Skagit County, and Green and Snoqualmie rivers which could affect different parts of the King County.

Warnings for strong winds were also in effect for the coastal areas of the two states, Oregon and Washington.

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