More than 10 million people were on flood alert on Tuesday after a powerful “atmospheric river” hit the northwestern United States, bringing heavy rains, reports the AP agency. One fatality was recorded.
In some regions, rainfall exceeded 20 cm over the last 24 hours. Further rainfall is forecast. Rising river levels begin to pose a threat of flooding.
In Washington state, the Skagit and Snoqualmie rivers are of particular concern, with forecasts that if they burst their banks they would flood roads, farms and even some residential areas. Water levels on the Grays River in the southern part of the state also rose rapidly. Some roads were closed there on Tuesday due to flooding.
Flood warnings extend from coastal areas of Oregon and Washington to northeastern Washington and northern Idaho.
Emergency services in Portland, Oregon, failed to save a man who was swept away by a raging torrent. His body was recovered from Johnson Creek on Monday afternoon, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputy told CNN. Investigators are trying to determine how the man ended up in the rushing water.
Atmospheric rivers are meteorological phenomena involving the transfer of water vapor mes, in this case from the Pacific to the west coast of North America. The water vapor can then be released as heavy rain or snowfall.
Andrzej Dobrowolski from New York (PAP)