November 18, 2021 9:48 a.m.
Skagit County Flood Update
The Skagit and Samish Rivers continue to recede, and sustained deep waters continue to inundate roads, farmlands, residential areas and levees.
The dams on the Skagit River absorbed a significant part of the flood but dam reservoirs are full and water in the pools must be released, reports the National Weather Service in a flood warning extension issued for the Skagit River through late Friday morning, November 19.
Dam discharge is not expected to create any additional flooding impacts for this event. Those living near dikes may see seepage over the coming days; this is expected and is not related to dam or dike failure.
Significant damage and flood recovery is anticipated in the days ahead. Specific information will follow via regular County channels as information becomes available.
Safety measures in your day-to-day activities are a highest priority:
Cold weather safety. As temperatures drop, remember that gas, propane, natural gas and charcoal burning heat sources should not be used indoors. These tools emit carbon monoxide (CO)—an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. More info on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning after an emergency.
Animal-related public safety concerns. Contact animal control at 360-428-3211; they will get back to you as soon as possible.
Returning home after a flood. When returning to a home that’s been flooded after a natural disaster, be aware of health risks to your family. The information here from Skagit County Public Health provides helpful details for a safe return to your home.
Recording damages—Individual assistance. Given widespread flooding throughout the state, and Governor Inslee’s disaster declaration, it’s possible that federal disaster assistance could be made available through FEMA. Learn more about disaster assistance here: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/information/fact-sheets
If your home has been damaged by the flood, please keep record of your property damages. This could be through photos, receipts, documentation provided by your insurance agency or the County assessor. The county will need to collect damage assessments for federal disaster assistance on the county level.
Road closures remain numerous and widespread. It does not take much water to pose significant safety risk to drivers and occupants. It could be several days before water recedes from some portions of the roadway. DO NOT DRIVE AROUND ROAD CLOSED SIGNS. For a complete listing of current County and State road closures, visit www.skagitcounty.net/reporting/roadclose and wsdot.com/travel/real-time/map/ respectively.
Power outages. The Puget Sound Energy Power Outage Map shows many in the community without power. Falling trees will continue to be a concern as ground remains saturated. The possibility of outages exists over the next 24-48 hours.
Recommended evacuations for residents of Fir Island, Samish Island and Sterling remain in effect until further notice.
Two American Red Cross shelters remain operational tonight: Bethany Covenant Church (1318 S. 18thStreet, Mount Vernon, WA 98273) and Hamilton First Baptist Church (797 Hamilton Cemetery Rd, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284).
If you have questions or are not sure where to go, please contact Skagit County Department of Emergency Management at 360-416-1892.
For more emergency information, sign up for the emergency information listserv, CodeRed Alerts or follow Skagit County on Twitter @SkagitGov. The River Level Hotline (360- 416-1404) and www.skagitcounty.net/flood are updated frequently during events with current conditions and can be resources for information as well.
Please expect one County flood update news release per day moving forward during this event.