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Floods chase people from Washington homes

/ Source: The Associated Press

Flooding caused by heavy rain chased residents from their homes in a Pacific Northwest community and killed livestock, and three people were missing Wednesday after a mudslide on the Canadian side of the border.

Flood warnings remained in effect Wednesday for several rivers in northwestern Washington, the National Weather Service said.

Most highways remained open, but numerous local roads were closed by high water in King, Snohomish and Skagit counties.

An emergency shelter for evacuees was opened in Hamilton, along the Skagit River (pronounced SKAJ-it), said Don McKeehen, a Skagit County emergency operations spokesman. A Red Cross official estimated that more than 75 people checked in Tuesday. Another shelter was opened in Concrete, where the Skagit River was expected to crest about 3 feet above flood stage.

A mudslide swept two houses down a hillside early Wednesday in North Vancouver, British Columbia. At least three people were missing, said Capt. Tom Seaman of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Northeast of Seattle, an unknown number of dairy cattle were lost Tuesday when a flood control structure failed near Snohomish.

“The cattle were floating by here like wood debris,” former dairy farmer John Misich said. “There was a steady stream of them floating by.”

Twenty-four-hour rainfall amounts as of Tuesday afternoon included 2.63 inches at Shelton, 2.13 inches at Olympia and 2.53 inches at Forks. The rain also melted much of the snow in the Cascade Range, closing several ski areas.