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Flooding in Washington state not as severe as earlier storm

Localized flooding in Washington state from another in a series of rainstorms doesn't appear to be as severe as an extreme weather flooding event earlier in the month.

People in the small communities of Sumas and Everson in northwest Washington had been asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night. Both towns near the Canadian border saw severe flooding from days of rain that caused an estimated $50 million in damage to Whatcom County.

In Sumas, officials used the flood siren at around 9 a.m. Monday as water bypassed the Cherry street bridge and then spread through town, according to a post on Facebook.

In this photo taken from a drone, farm fields and a road remain flooded near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Weather officials are urging Northwest residents to remain alert because more rain is on the way to an area with lingering water from extreme weather from a previous storm. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

“We are still encouraged because the flow continues to slow down. We recommend everyone shelter in place until we see how this flood unfolds,” officials said.

On Sunday night, Everson Mayor John Perry posted on Facebook that water levels on a main road through town were “slowly receding” and that Nooksack River levels were dropping.

“It appears that we are through the worst of it for the Everson/Nooksack area,” Perry wrote. “We could still see a few isolated areas where the level raises slightly, but for the most part it looks like we are improving.”

In this photo taken from a drone, traffic navigates a flooded highway headed into Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Weather officials are urging Northwest residents to remain alert because more rain is on the way to an area with lingering water from extreme weather from a previous storm. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

Many local roads in the area and around Bellingham were closed Sunday and Monday because of water over the roadway and some schools in the region kept students from classes as a safety precaution.

Bellingham city officials said rainwater exceeded pumping capacity at times on Sunday resulting in an overflow that discharged about 9 million gallons of sewage water into Bellingham Bay.

“The impacts to water quality as the result of the need for sewage overflow are expected to be minimal,” a city news release said.

A car that was stranded earlier in the month remains under floodwaters in a field near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. People in Sumas, located near the Canadian border, were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, as communities in the area were still dealing with flooding from a storm earlier in the month. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

Downstream in Ferndale, Mayor Greg Hansen told The Bellingham Herald several homes in low-lying areas near the river have seen flooding in latest storm, but the swollen river remains below its levee, he said.

“It definitely has filled the floodways,” Hansen said.

More rain was forecast for Tuesday, the latest deluge from atmospheric rivers — huge plumes of moisture extending over the Pacific and into the Northwest.

A tractor operator talks with people standing near a mud- and debris-covered road near Everson, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Localized flooding was expected Monday in Washington state from another in a series of rainstorms, but conditions do not appear to be as severe as when extreme weather hit the region earlier in November. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

Forecasters say the rainfall totals should be less than previous storms, with up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) expected in northwest Washington and up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains.

With 18.91 inches (48 centimeters) of rain recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between Sept. 1 and Nov. 28, and the impending rain Tuesday, 2021 could have the wettest early fall on record, The Seattle Times reported.

The second wettest September through November period in Seattle was recorded in 2006, with 18.61 inches (47 centimeters) of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

A tractor operator talks with people standing near a mud- and debris-covered road near Everson, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Localized flooding was expected Monday in Washington state from another in a series of rainstorms, but conditions do not appear to be as severe as when extreme weather hit the region earlier in November. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

“It’s the wettest early fall we’ve had in Seattle in a long, long time,” weather service meteorologist Kirby Cook said Monday. “And in some areas, like Bellingham, it will be the wettest November on record.”

Ferndale's mayor said the city’s Emergency Operations Center would remain open through the end of the week because of the anticipated Tuesday storm.

“We know we have significant rain coming and we are anticipating another river crest," Hansen said. "We’re going to continue to stay in a heightened alert status."

A barn and plastic-covered hay bales are shown near a flooded field near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. People in Sumas, located near the Canadian border, were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, as communities in the area were still dealing with flooding from a storm earlier in the month. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

A cloudy sky is reflected in a flooded farm field next to a road near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. People in Sumas, located near the Canadian border, were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, as communities in the area were still dealing with flooding from a storm earlier in the month. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

A partially submerged sign is shown near a flooded farm field near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. People in Sumas, located near the Canadian border, were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, as communities in the area were still dealing with flooding from a storm earlier in the month. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

CORRECTS BIRDS TO SWANS INSTEAD OF GEESE - Swans fly over flooded farmland near Sumas, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. People in Sumas, located near the Canadian border, were asked to evacuate voluntarily Saturday night, as communities in the area were still dealing with flooding from a storm earlier in the month. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)

A person works to pump water to the other side of a levee after flooding near Everson, Wash., Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Localized flooding was expected Monday in Washington state from another in a series of rainstorms, but conditions do not appear to be as severe as when extreme weather hit the region earlier in November. (AP PhotoElaine Thompson)