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Floods continue in WA

Hundreds of people took refuge shelters or with family and friends on Wednesday as rivers in western Washington state continued raging even though the rain has eased.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | November 8, 2006

Hundreds of people took refuge in shelters or with family and friends on Wednesday as rivers in western Washington state continued raging even though the rain has eased.

All major rivers in western Washington are at or above flood stage. And more rain is predicted.

More than 300 people were housed in 13 shelters - many in local churches - across the affected region.

A state emergency has been declared for 18 counties including Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pierce, Thurston, King, Skagit, Snohomish, Wahkiakum, Whatcom.

The Skagit River did not go as high as it did during the 2003 floods.

U.S. Army Corps officials were assessing levees throughout the region to evaluate safety issues and determine if repairs are needed. Washouts and mudslides have blocked train transportation north of Seattle as well as in other localized areas. Many state and local roadways are also closed because of floodwater or mudslides.

Oregon was also affected by flooding. That state declared an emergency in Tillamook County. Flood warnings or watches were also in effect for central Washington, northern Idaho and far western Montana.

At least one death was blamed on the storms, part of a warm weather front that has lasted for days. The National Guard rescued dozens of people after rapid flooding surprised many in low-lying areas. More than 80 people were rescued from flooding in Snohomish County north of Seattle.


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