People in water-logged Washington now have official confirmation of something they’ve been suspecting: It’s been raining a lot.
The city entered its 27th straight day of rain Saturday and was a week away from the 1953 record of 33 consecutive rainy days. Daily rainfall records have already fallen in Seattle and Olympia.
More seriously, officials worried about the potential for more landslides and floods, warning that the saturated landscape can’t hold much more water.
“What we need is a reprieve,” Tony Fantello, maintenance and operations manager for Pierce County Water Programs in Tacoma, told The News Tribune. “Everything is just overtaxed. Even 24 to 36 hours of dry conditions really help take the heat off.”
No dice. Mostly light rain fell early Friday, and the weather service predicted more over the next 10 days.
Meteorologist Danny Mercer said he thinks the rain will continue at least until Jan. 20, when Seattle would tie the 1953 mark.
“We have a front coming in almost every single day, with very few breaks in between these systems,” Mercer said.
A respite could come Sunday or late next week, but it’s more likely that the rain will only lessen, possibly with a few hours of scattered sunshine, he said.
On Wednesday the weather service reported 0.94 inches of rain at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, breaking the old record for Jan. 10 of 0.71 set in 1979. A record of 1.56 inches was set at Olympia Airport, breaking the previous mark of 1.12 set in 1976.
Flooding along numerous rivers, none of it severe, was generally easing as water receded early Friday, and the only flood warnings were for the Chehalis below Centralia and the short, flood-prone Skokomish west of Bremerton.
Some highways remained closed by mudslides, while Amtrak and commuter train service that had been suspended north of Seattle due to mudslides could resume Friday afternoon, officials said.