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Mountain snow, flood watch in effect for Western Washington through weekend


SEATTLE — Heavy rains continue to drench Western Washington, with water over the roads in some areas and an increased threat of landslides heading into the weekend.

In Snohomish County, the Sheriff's Office has advised motorists to use caution in Sultan, Sylvana and Stanwood areas where water is covering roadways. A portion of Northwest Tolt Road in King County near Carnation has been closed due to water over the road.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement Friday for the western part of the state saying rain through Saturday will put extra pressure on soil instability, leading to a landslide threat.

Puget Sound Energy reported nearly 5,000 customers without power Friday morning, but that number had dropped to fewer than 300 by Friday night.

Schools were closed in the Mount Baker School District for lack of power.

Wind gusts were generally in the 30 to 45 mph range earlier in the day.

Rainfall totals ranged from 3 to 5 inches in the North Cascades, 4 to 6 inches along the coast, and 8 to 12 inches in the Olympic Mountains.

Heavy rains and gusty winds subsided Friday afternoon in Seattle. But rain picked up again later Friday with more forecast for Saturday, with snow likely in the mountains.

The weather service posted a winter storm watch through Sunday morning for up to 32 inches of snow in the Hurricane Ridge area of Olympic National Park.

The state Department of Transportation closed the North Cascades Highway for the weekend, over concerns of avalanches from the wet weather.

A flood watch remains in effect through Sunday morning. The service has issued flood warnings for rivers in King, Clallam, Grays Harbor, Mason and Snohomish counties.

In Northwestern Oregon, meteorologists say heavy rain will continue on the Oregon Coast and Coast Range through Saturday night. Winds gusting up to 55 miles per hour on the coast and 35 mph inland are expected and minor flooding could occur.

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