Heavy August rains wreak havoc across Puget Sound region

SEATTLE - Heavy rainfall swamped much of the Puget Sound region overnight, flooding many streets and homes and triggering crashes during the early morning commute.

In the 24-hour period ending at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sea-Tac Airport received a whopping 1.33 inches of rain - most of it falling in a six-hour period from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. The 0.86" that had fallen officially on Wednesday was already more than double the record amount for Aug. 13 (0.33").

In Bellevue, where a spotter reported 1.53" during the storm, the heavy rains flooded the 3800 block of Factoria Boulevard with four feet of water, temporarily trapping some motorists in their vehicles. Emergency crews arrived on the scene and pulled several cars from the water at about 5:40 a.m.

A few blocks away from there, several units were flooded at the Newport Villa Townhomes.

One woman told KOMO News that she woke up at 3 a.m. to find several feet of water in her home - only a few hours after she had a new floor installed. She tried to get out but the doors would not open, so she called 911 and was rescued by emergency crews.

On Interstate 90, a car and tanker truck collided near Island Crest Way - a crash that may have been caused by slick conditions on the freeway.

Another crash on northbound Interstate 5 near McKinley Way in Tacoma blocked the two right lanes for about three hours earlier Wednesday morning.

Witnesses said the rain was coming down so hard on Highway 167 in Auburn at about 2 a.m. that drivers couldn't see the lane dividers and were meandering across the lanes of traffic.

A large tree came down in a Phinney Ridge neighborhood at about 1 a.m., damaging a car parked on the street and barely missing a home.

And in White Center, the torrential rains following the prolonged dry spell knocked out power to 4,300 customers at midnight due to arcing of electrical lines. Power has now been restored.

Meanwhile, in Central Washington, 8,000 people were evacuated from the Grant County Fairgrounds at Moses Lake Tuesday afternoon because of the threat of severe weather.

Sheriff Tom Jones directed the fairgrounds to close as a precaution after the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning.

The rains had diminished in the Puget Sound region by daybreak Wednesday, but more is on the way throughout the day Wednesday.


This is a developing news story. More information will be posted as it becomes available.