A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed
January 8, 2009
Floodwaters swamp Washington state
More than 30,000 people were urged to leave their flood-endangered western Washington homes as snowmelt and rain swelled rivers and caused mudslides and avalanches that engulfed neighborhoods and roadways. Warmer temperatures and heavy rains were rapidly melting the deep snow that dumped on the Cascade mountains over the weekend. Ten inches of snow melted in a 12-hour period at Snoqualmie Pass, according to Andy Haner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Rising waters led state highway crews to close a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 around Chehalis on Wednesday evening. Authorities feared Interstate 5, which carries 10,000 trucks a day, could be closed for days, just as it was in a similar flood in December 2007. (19 images)

flddwsh01.jpg
A truck drives down a flooded Interstate 5 in the Chehalis and Centralia area in SW Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. AP / Bruce Ely / The Oregonian


flddwsh02.jpg
Snoqualmie Falls is seen from the air in Snoqualmie, Wash. on Thursday Jan. 8, 2009. AP / Seattle Times / Alan Berner



flddwsh03.jpg
A truck drives down a flooded I-5 in the Chehalis and Centralia area in SW Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2008. AP / Bruce Ely / The Oregonian



flddwsh04.jpg
The flood waters of Dillenbough Creek cover Exit 77 of Interstate 5, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 in Chehalis, Wash. The highway has been closed since Wednesday. AP / The Seattle Times / Steve Ringman



flddwsh05.jpg
Flooding in southwest Washington in the Chehalis and Centralia area, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. AP / Bruce Ely / The Oregonian



flddwsh06.jpg
A barn and house are surrounded by Chehalis River flood water Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, in Chehalis, Wash. Rain and high winds lashed Washington state Wednesday, causing widespread avalanches, mudslides, flooding and road closures from rapid snowmelt and the three main highways across the Cascade Range were closed. AP / Elaine Thompson



flddwsh07.jpg
Houses near Kalama, Wash. are seen surrounded by flooding in SW Washington on the Kalama river, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2008. AP / Bruce Ely / The Oregonian



flddwsh08.jpg
Jeannene Ramos, a worker at the farm watches the water slowly rise up the porch of her home, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 in Duvall, Wash. Floods, mudslides and avalanches in the Pacific Northwest kept tens of thousands of people from their homes Thursday, brought freight trains to a standstill and stranded hundreds of trucks along the major highways that link Seattle's busy ports with markets around the country. AP /The Seattle Times / Mike Siegel



flddwsh09.jpg
Long-time friends and neighbors Sandy Swenson, left, and Kathy Ellenberger embrace after visiting their flood-damaged homes in Puyallup, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. The women had evacuated their homes at the Wheel In Motor Home park the evening before and returned Thursday to survey the damage. AP / The News Tribune / Janet Jensen



flddwsh10.jpg
Motorists push their way through high water on Highway 101, south of Gearhart, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, as heavy rains and melted snow flooded rivers in western Washington. AP / The Oregonian / Thomas Boyd



flddwsh11.jpg
Cars and houses are flooded by the Puyallup River Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009, just outside Tacoma,Wash. This flooding occurred late Wednesday. AP / The Seattle Times / Barry Fitzsimmons



flddwsh12.jpg
Violet Thorp, 82, is comforted by her granddaughter Christy Reitan as she tries to sleep on a cot inside the gymnasium of Stanwood high school Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 after being evacuated from The Josephine Sunset Home, a senior home in Stanwood, due to flooding. AP / The Seattle Times / Chris Joseph Taylor



flddwsh13.jpg
Volunteers help sand bag an area along Highway 532 on the outskirts of downtown Stanwood, Wash. Thursday evening Jan. 8, 2009. Floods, mudslides and avalanches in the Pacific Northwest kept tens of thousands of people from their homes Thursday, brought freight trains to a standstill and stranded hundreds of trucks along the major highways that link Seattle's busy ports with markets around the country. AP / The Seattle Times / Chris Joseph Taylor



flddwsh14.jpg
David Archey, of Snohomish, Wash., navigates what was once the side yard of a Snohomish family while helping friends and family evacuate their home on Thursday Jan. 8, 2009. AP / The Herald / Kevin Nortz



flddwsh15.jpg
Gretchen Abernathy, right, who uses a wheelchair, is rescued from her home Thursday morning, Jan. 8, 2009, west of Snohomish, by firefighter Keith Simmons, after the Snohomish River flooded Abernathy's house. AP / The Seattle Times / Mark Harrison



flddwsh16.jpg
Abel Puris holds on to his hot tub after it was picked up by flood water from the Chehalis River in Centralia, Wash., Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. AP / Seattle Post-Intelligencer / Scott Eklund



flddwsh17.jpg
Ron Swenson, carries two Labrador puppies to dry ground at the Wheel In Motor Home between Tacoma, and Puyallup, Wash. on Thursday. Jan. 8, 2009. The pets had been stored in a vehicle since Wednesday evening when Swenson and his wife evacuated their home. AP / The News Tribune / Janet Jensen



flddwsh18.jpg
Frank Groce, left, helps build a makeshift bridge after flood waters from the Speelyai River trapped his hearing impaired 77-year-old sister at her home Thursday, Jan. 8, 2008, in Cougar, Wash. AP / Rick Bowmer



flddwsh19.jpg
Workers scramble to remove a building log jam on the Puyallup River in Fife, Wash. as the swollen river continued its record swell on Wednesday Jan. 7, 2009. Incoming tide at the river's delta and continued rain worried officials that the river would top levees and flood neighborhoods in Fife and Puyallup, Wash. AP / Seattle Post-Intelligencer / Joshua Trujillo



About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.