Landslide warning renewed across Western Washington

Zuanich Point Park in Squalicum Harbor seen through a window in the rain, Jan. 22, 2015.
Zuanich Point Park in Squalicum Harbor seen through a window in the rain, Jan. 22, 2015. pdwyer@bellinghamherald.com

A landslide warning issued Saturday for Western Washington has been renewed after expiring Monday, as the region’s hillsides remain saturated after several days of heavy rain.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle issued a “special weather statement” about 5 a.m Tuesday to warn of continued landslide potential, the second such warning this week.

“Soils in Western Washington remain saturated from heavy rainfall over the past several weeks. Even with light precipitation midweek and a couple of dry days Tuesday and Thursday, unstable soil conditions will persist. Heavy rain could arrive this coming weekend, putting extra pressure on soil instability (and) leading to a further increased threat of landslides,” the weather service said.

Meteorologists said of particular concern is the Mukilteo area, near the location where a mudslide late Sunday halted Amtrak passenger train service between Seattle and Everett . BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the main tracks were covered with mud, trees and debris. Passenger trains have been suspended through that stretch until late Tuesday, but freight trains continue to run.

Saturday’s seemingly incessant downpour set a Nov. 26 record for Bellingham, dumping 1.67 inches of rain and breaking the daily mark of 1.12 inches set in 1963.

Total rainfall for the month rose to 7.57 inches through Monday evening, as measured at Bellingham International Airport. Normal rainfall for November is 5.8 inches.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty