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Seattle area gets wettest start to a year in over a decade

A truck being pulled from standing water. (KIRO 7)

The Seattle area has been drenched in 2020, marking the third most rain its ever seen to start a year.

Seattle ties for most rainy January days in over a decade

Through Feb. 6, total measured rainfall at SeaTac (where Seattle’s precipitation is measured) was almost an entire foot. According to the National Weather Service, “that’s the 3rd wettest start of any calendar year on record for the Seattle Area.”

The last time we saw close to a foot of rain over the same period was in 2006, when SeaTac got 12.76 inches of rain to start the year. Before that, we have to go all the way back to 1953 — when there was just over 15 inches through Feb. 6 — to find a higher total.

This comes after a month that tied the mark for most rainy January days in history in Seattle.

“Even for Seattle, in the dead of winter, that’s extraordinary,” said Seattle Weather Blog’s Justin Shaw at the time.

Flood warnings have persisted across the region this week, and the National Guard has stationed crews in Carnation to assist with access to affected areas.

Meanwhile, streets in Issaquah have been nearly submerged by flood waters, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of residents. The Nisqually River also had hundreds of others evacuated in the South Sound region, with many homes at risk from rising delta waters.

In a tweet from Thurston County Sheriff on Thursday morning, it was reported that Tacoma Power was increasing the water flow from the LaGrande Dam, urging residents in the area to evacuate by 4 p.m. that day.

Check weather forecast for Seattle area here

Rain is currently in the forecast through Saturday, with strong winds “increasing Friday into Saturday night” along the coast and the Strait. Tree damage and power outages are possible this weekend.

Flooding and winter weather conditions led to an emergency proclamation issued by Gov. Jay Inslee for 19 Washington counties Wednesday. The list of counties includes: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom.

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