Record-breaking rainfall brings flooding to Pacific Northwest

Monday was the 10th-wettest day of all time and the third-wettest February day in Seattle

SEATTLE – A Pineapple Express-type atmospheric river event unleashed a record deluge across parts of the Pacific Northwest Monday into Tuesday, leaving some roads and highways covered in floodwaters or mudslides in Washington and northern Oregon.

Rainfall totals reached several inches across the region, topped by 14.41 inches recorded in the Olympic Rain forest and 5-7 inches in the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. Even the Puget Sound region wasn't spared nature's drenching with 2-5 inches recorded in the lowlands.

Seattle recorded 2.97 inches of rain on Monday, making it the 10th-wettest day of all time and the third-wettest February day. 

The rain was remarkably consistent in the Emerald City, raining every hour of Monday with nearly identical rainfall rates through the day until the rain tapered toward midnight.

The National Weather Service said Seattle averages just one day per year with rainfall greater than or equal to 2 inches. It's now already happened twice this year – Jan. 6 and Feb. 28. This is the first time on record in Seattle that it has occurred consecutively in the first two months of the year.  Seattle's two-day rainfall total of 4.22 inches accounted for 26% of its winter rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.

And though the rains had tapered off, Flood Warnings remained in effect for several rivers until Wednesday due to excessive runoff affecting rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

The city of Snoqualmie is closely monitoring river levels as a Flood Warning has been issued for the Snoqualmie River east of the Seattle area, with a forecast crest of 58.78 feet on Wednesday. 

One man had to be rescued after being trapped by flood waters in town. Firefighters from four neighboring jurisdictions helped get the man to safety and he was not hurt.

At the Snohomish River north of Seattle, a man's BMW was damaged when he tried to drive through a flooded Old Snohomish-Monroe Road.

"The driver of the BMW says he knew not to drive through the water over the road," reported Franque Thompson with FOX 13 Seattle, "but he did it anyway because he needed to get to work."  

A local cattle farmer helped pull his vehicle from the floodwaters.

Meanwhile, The Washington State Department of Transportation had to close multiple highways Monday due to mudslides and water over the roadway, including State Route 7 near Warner's Creek.

In Mason County, a mudslide covered U.S. 101 Monday night prompted a several-hour closure.

Crews spent hours clearing debris and mud, reopening the highway just before 4 p.m.

Large landslides were reported near Clallam Bay near the northwestern tip of the state, in Puyallup near the southern suburbs of the Puget Sound area -- and even in the city of Seattle.

"We've had numerous reports of landslides, even in the Seattle Metro area," Seattle National Weather Service meteorologist Dana Felton told FOX Weather. "We're definitely keeping our eye out for the threat of landslides over the next couple of days."

Monday's deluge also triggered a rockfall south of Oregon City, Oregon, where a tractor-trailer transporting grass seed was damaged on Oregon Route 99E south of Oregon City.

The heaviest rain has tapered off but unsettled weather remains in the northwest through the end of the week.