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Western Washington storm produces inch of rain, 5,900 lightning strikes

Conditions on the roads are still slick after a record inch of rain was recorded at Sea-Tac Airport. Urban flooding is still a risk. (WSDOT Photo)

An inch rain of rain fell in Western Washington, crushing a previous record, but even more impressive was the lightning that lit up the Thursday night sky as a massive storm rolled through the area.

KING 5 meteorologist Lisa Van Cise says an inch of rain was recorded at Sea-Tac Airport on Thursday. The previous rainfall record for the day was set in 1984 at .03 inches.

Dustin Guy with the National Weather Service told KIRO Radio that between 4 a.m. on Thursday and 4 a.m. on Friday, there were 5,900 lightning strikes across Western Washington.

"It's really hard to give an estimate of what's typical for lightning strikes. Let's just say that 5,900 is a large number for us, when most days we see none," says Guy. Any day when we see more than one, he says, it's pretty significant.

A flood watch has been called off for Western Washington. It was originally planned to last through Friday at 6 p.m.

There is also concern over extra water on the roadways, especially near streams. Mud or rock slides are also possible.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) is closed between mileposts 147 and 171 for mudslides through at least the weekend.

Heavy rains caused sewer overflows in Everett. Signs have been posted at outfall locations on the Snohomish River and Port Gardner Bay warning people to avoid contact with the water.

Forecasters say summer weather should return with highs in the 70s Saturday through Monday.'s Josh Kerns and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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