Thunderstorms, drenching rains rock evening commute

SEATTLE -- A rather dry summer got a jolt of intense rainfall as strong thunderstorms rolled through the Puget Sound region Thursday, in some cases doubling or more in an hour the amount of rain they had received since the start of summer.

Olympia reported an amazing 0.89" of rain in just 19 minutes as the thunderstorm rolled through there. Seattle reported 0.25" of rain in just 10 minutes -- or more than they had in several weeks around July.

Seattle firefighters were called to put out a fire at a transformer pole that was struck by lightning in the 8800 block of 14th Avenue S. in the city's South Park neighborhood.

Meanwhile in Kent, a 40'-by-40' section of a roof collapsed in the 8200 block of S. 194th, fire officials said. No injuries were reported.

In Everett, heavy rains caused a combined sewer outflow at 9 or 10 locations, flooding about 10-20 homes, said Meghan Pembroke with the city of Everett.

In Mukilteo, where well over an inch of rain fell in the evening, a National Weather Service spotter reported flood waters going into a home in the 2200 block of West Mukilteo Boulevard. Streets around the ferry dock were also reported flooded.

Urban flooding was also reported in Renton at the intersection of S. 180th Street and East Valley Road.

Some of the more impressive rainfall totals from the evening include:
  • Richmond Beach: 1 inch of rain in 30 minutes between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
  • Marysville: 0.50" of rain in 30 minutes
  • Mill Creek: 1.28" of rain in 15 minutes
  • Olympia: 0.52" of rain in 10 minutes; 0.89" of rain in 19 minutes;
  • Seattle (Sea-Tac): 0.25" in 10 minutes; 0.37" in 27 minutes
  • Everett: 0.17" in 9 minutes, 0.19" in 11 minutes; 0.49" in 27 minutes; 0.95" in one hour; 1.29" in 2 hours, 18 minutes.
  • Bremerton: 0.30" in 20 minutes; 0.47" in 40 minutes
Travel times around the Puget Sound area took an extreme hit as the heavy rain just exacerbated traffic already crawling on many roads due to several accidents that plagued the region before the storms hit. Travel times from Lynnwood to Tukwila were nearly two hours, with the I-405 commute between those two areas listed at 141 minutes earlier in the afternoon.

Scattered thunderstorms are possible through the evening then will taper off overnight.