Flooding fears hit Northwest due to ‘atmospheric river’


FILE – Floodwater inundates homes along a road on Nov. 17, 2021, in Sumas, Wash. Damages from flooding last week in northwest Washington’s Whatcom County could reach as high as $50 million, officials said, as forecasters warn that multiple “atmospheric rivers” may drench the Pacific Northwest in coming days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Flood watches were issued for much of western Washington as storms associated with multiple “atmospheric rivers” threaten parts of the Northwest that saw heavy damage from storms earlier this month.

The National Weather Service warned that flooding was possible through Monday afternoon in places like Bellingham and the greater Seattle area as heavy rains were expected over the weekend in the Cascade and Olympic mountains, which could cause rivers to rise.

The moisture is from huge plumes of moisture extending over the Pacific and into the Northwest, known as atmospheric rivers. They could bring up to 3 inches of rain in some areas hit by the recent flooding. Washington is still assessing millions of dollars in damage from the last storms.

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