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Massive Storms Hit Pacific NW

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Massive Storms Hit Pacific NW, A Pacific storm has hit the Northwest and has already claimed one life. The regional forecast calls for storms throughout the holiday week. SEATTLE – Residents in Washington and Oregon braced for more wet weather after a fierce storm swamped streets, toppled trees and large trucks, cut power to nearly 50,000 residents, and caused at least one death.

Flood warnings were issued for a handful of western Washington rivers, with moderate flooding expected Tuesday along the Chehalis River in the Centralia area. Residents there were told where to find sandbags and were directed to move any endangered livestock to higher ground.

Nearly 2 inches of rain fell in six hours Monday in one Seattle neighborhood – a total that Seattle Public Utilities meteorologist James Rufo-Hill called “extraordinary.”

“It was a pretty big storm for most of the city – lots of rain in a relatively short amount of time,” he said, but several neighborhoods “really got drenched.”

The rain caused widespread reports of flooded roads and highways, some mudslides and residential flooding, and even sewage overflows in parts of Seattle and Everett. Several blocks of downtown streets were briefly flooded in Port Orchard, west of Seattle.

Puget Sound Energy reported 24,000 electricity outages at mid-afternoon in its western Washington service area, with most service restored by Monday evening.

At Mt. Rainier, Wash., the National Weather Service forecasts from 80 inches up to 118 inches, almost 10 feet, of snowfall by Thanksgiving Day. Between 36 to 42 inches of that total was expected to fall by late Monday.

In Oregon, the storm knocked out electricity to as many as 24,000 Pacific Power customers. Several thousand remained in the dark Monday night, mainly in Clatsop, Lincoln and Coos counties.

BNSF Railways imposed a 48-hour moratorium on passenger and commuter trains travel between Everett and Seattle, starting around noon Monday, after at least 10 mudslides affected the tracks, spokesman Gus Melonas said.

Wet weather was expected to continue through the week, but National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Neher in Seattle said Monday night that the “heavy rain is over.”

“We’re into showers now,” Neher said.

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