PHOTOS: Scenes From The Weekend Deluge And Subsequent Flooding

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The much-anticipated “Pineapple Express” torrential “river” of rain hit the Burien area hard over the weekend, causing local flooding of creeks, a landslide, newly-formed ponds in residential backyards and a soaking wet day for anyone who dared venture outside.

Here’s what we’ve learned (as of Sunday, Dec. 12th at 12:45pm 3pm):

  • Southcenter Blvd. in Tukwila was closed to traffic in both directions at I-5 Sunday afternoon due to water over the roadway. Fast work from crews and the subsiding rain allowed Southcenter Blvd to re-open around 3pm.  All lanes of Southcenter Blvd AND the off-ramp from Southbound I-5 are NOW OPEN. 
  • A landslide happened in the 2400 block of SW 172nd, near Three Tree Point; according to “…a mudslide sent a beam into a home in the 2400 block of SW 172nd. Firefighters helped three people out of the home. Fortunately, no one was injured.” We could see no evidence of the slide from the road, although we’ve received confirmation of it as well as this pic:

  • Miller and Walker Creeks have overflowed in Normandy Park. Roads around The Cove have been closed (see pics below).
  • According to the National Weather Service, Sea-Tac Airport on Saturday set a record for rainfall for the date with 1.42 inches, breaking the old mark for Dec. 11 of 1.32 inches, which was set in 1955.
  • Reports are that the rain will begin to taper down as the day progresses, but don’t let that fool you – remember, water has to go somewhere, and it’s likely that a lot more will fall, and/or appear as rivers and creeks fill up.
  • The land under our feet is very saturated as well, and the Weather Service issued the following Advisory at 1:30am Sunday morning (Dec. 12th), warning of landslides:

… Heavy rainfall overnight and today will lead to increased risk of landslides in western Washington…

Heavy rains of up to 2 inches over the western Washington lowlands since noon Saturday… and up to 4 inches in the mountains… have increased soil wetness to high levels around western Washington. Heavy rain will continue today and tonight… with another 1 to 2 inches over The Lowlands and another 2 to 6 inches over the mountains.

This amount of rain will result in soil instability. Cumulative rainfall over the last three weeks have soaked soils to the point where they are above the U.S.G.S. Landslide index.

When cumulative rainfall over the previous 3 days and previous 18 days exceed the U.S.G.S. Cumulative threshold index… rainfall induced landslides are possible during intense rainfall or when rainfall amounts exceed two inches in 24 hours. A diminishing risk of landslides will continue for several days after today.

At least two landslides have already been reported during this heavy rain episode… one along Chuckanut drive in the north interior and another near Vancouver Washington.

While the U.S.G.S. Rainfall thresholds apply to the Seattle area… most of The Lowlands of western Washington are susceptible to landslides due to wet soils. Areas most susceptible to landslides under these conditions are steep coastal Bluffs and other steep hillsides. For more information about current conditions… see the following internet web pages:


Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer managed to get out and take some pics this morning, and in-between toweling the camera off and avoiding flooded roads, took these photos (if you have any pics you’d like to share with our Readers, please email us):

The road leading to The Cove in Normandy Park was closed where Miller Creek overflowed.

A Resident walks through the overflowing Miller Creek as a Normandy Park Police Officer surveys the scene.

The front yard of a house listed "For Sale" near Miller Creek in Normandy Park has become a makeshift river detour as floodwaters surged.

From our observations, it appears that the house is not being flooded due to strategic placement of sandbags and barriers.

Where Walker Creek flows into its outlet at The Cove, the level is so high that the bridges are almost under water.

And here are some Reader pics sent to us (if you have any, please email us and we’ll post):

This first batch is from Miles Partmen, who lives on 22nd Ave S. in the newly-annexed part of Burien; he says:

My pond overflowed. This is no dinky pond, this is a huge pond!

The pond is 16 by 10 feet and 4 feet deep, and it’s 7 inches above flood stage.

It is groundwater flooding and we are on top of a hill.

This is the first time my pond has flooded I’m in the newly-annexed part of Burien:

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2 Responses to “PHOTOS: Scenes From The Weekend Deluge And Subsequent Flooding”
  1. Burienite says:

    Hey BTB, are you going to do a separate piece on the home off of 172nd that was severely damaged by a landslide?

    I saw a segment on KOMO, and was shocked at the damage. This almost looks worse than the house that was damaged off of Maplewild a couple weeks ago.

    Perhaps these homeowners need assistance as well, getting their belongings out, etc.

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