They evacuated two towns in the state of Washington before the imminence of new floods.


The authorities asked the population of Sumas and Everson to vacate the area voluntarily. Both towns near the Canadian border experienced extreme flooding in the previous storm.

Washington state residents brace for potential flooding in the face of a new threat from "atmospheric rivers" to parts of the northwestern part of the country, which suffered severe damage from extreme weather this month.

Authorities asked the population of the small communities of Sumas and Everson in Washington state to vacate the area Saturday night voluntarily, The Bellingham Herald reported. Both towns near the Canadian border experienced extreme flooding in the previous storm.

An emergency alert indicated that the closure of roads in the area could begin Sunday morning.

Authorities issued flood watches for much of western and north-central Washington for the weekend, and the National Weather Service warned of possible flooding through Sunday.

Heavy rains and rising river levels are expected over the weekend in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains.

"We anticipate river flooding and possible flooding in some locations tomorrow morning," Gary Schneider, a meteorologist with the Seattle office of the National Weather Service, said Sunday. "For now, the rivers have not overflowed. "

Schneider indicated that if there were to be flooded, it would likely be Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Forecasters noted that an atmospheric river - a vast cloud of moisture spreading over the Pacific and heading northwest - could bring up to 7.6 centimeters (three inches) of rain in some areas affected by the recent flooding.

State officials are still assessing millions of dollars in damage from the most recent storm, also attributed to an atmospheric river.

In Whatcom County, in northwest Washington, officials said damage costs could reach $ 50 million.

The most recent flooding forced the closure of the US-Canada border in the small town of Sumas and three bridges in Bellingham when landslides blocked Interstate 5 south of Bellingham.

This week's atmospheric river shouldn't be as "severe" as it was before, Schneider said.

"It will still be a reasonably rainy event, but (the previous flood) was a historical event. So we do not predict a repeat, "said Schneider.

Forecasters predict the rain will dissipate by Sunday, and Monday will be relatively dry.