- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2020

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) - Prepare for major flooding and possible landslides throughout Snohomish County this weekend, as heavy rain was forecast to swell three major rivers.

The Everett Daily Herald reports as soon as Friday night, the main stem of the Stillaguamish River could rise to flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.

Already, Stanwood city officials have announced the closure of a flood-prone stretch of Marine Drive starting at 9 a.m. Friday.

The weather service issued a flood watch through the weekend, although a volatile forecast means the severity of flooding remains uncertain.

“We are expecting flooding,” said Justin Pullin, lead forecaster at the NWS in Seattle. “Both river flooding and potentially some urban flooding as well.”

The Stillaguamish is predicted to rise first, causing minor flooding Friday in the Arlington area. The current forecast calls for the river to come within inches of major flooding by Saturday afternoon. But meteorologists said it could be more or less extreme.

Exactly where the heaviest rain will fall is still unclear, and that will directly influence the magnitude and whereabouts of flooding.

The Snohomish River is expected to overflow later, with minor flooding by Saturday night and moderate levels by early Sunday morning. Residents of the Skykomish River Valley may see minor flooding starting Saturday.

The county Department of Emergency Management is encouraging residents to prepare.

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