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Flood-gorged rivers swamp roads in King, Snohomish counties

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KOMO News Photo

More than a dozen roads are underwater and a popular park is closed Tuesday morning in Western Washington after days of relentless rainfall that broke records in at least two communities.

The wet weather also is being blamed for a large-scale outage earlier Tuesday that knocked out power to more than 7,000 customers in Federal Way. That outage has now been fixed, but about 700 homes remained without power hours later in Auburn.

More rain was expected in Western Washington for the rest of the week.

"It's going to be pretty wet for a while," said meteorologist Johnny Berg with the National Weather Service.

The heavy rain could make driving dangerous in some areas - especially in portions of Snohomish County, which was hit hardest by the heavy rainfall.

As of Tuesday morning, 16 roads were closed in Snohomish and King counties because of flooding, with water several feet deep over several roads, mostly around Duvall and Carnation.

Not all of the flooded roads are marked with signs - so officers are warning drivers to be aware and turn around if they see water over the roadway. It doesn't take much water to stall a vehicle. One driver had to be rescued in Carnation on Monday after stalling out in just two feet of water.

Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground, at 31020 NE 40th St. in Carnation, also is closed indefinitely due to flooding, park officials said.

The rainfall shattered records in Bellingham and in Quillayute, near Forks on the north Washington coast. The Bellingham Airport reported 1.64 inches of rain on Monday, breaking the old record for the date of 1.02 inches set back in 1986. Quillayute reported 3.34 inches of rain, swamping the previous record of 3.05 inches set 35 years ago.

And with rain still falling, officers say not to expect conditions to get any better in the next few hours.

Flood warnings are still in effect for several rivers, including the Stillaguamish, Skykomish, Snohomish, Tolt, Snoqualmie, Bogachiel and Skokomish.

Most of those warnings were set to end by Tuesday evening, but two rivers were expected to remain at or near flood stage on Wednesday: the Snohomish River in Snohomish County and the Snoqualmie River in eastern King County.

Urban and rural flooding was swamping some communities east of the Cascade Range as well, with flooding reported near Ellensburg and Yakima.

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