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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

USA. Washington State Floods. Evacuations

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Heavy rain caused flooding in the northwest of Washington state. Roads and houses were flooded and over half a thousand people were evacuated. Electricity supply was interrupted elsewhere by strong winds. A state of emergency has been in place in several counties since Monday.

Whatcom County emergency services called the ongoing flooding the worst since 1990, when two people died and thousands were evacuated in floods in western Washington at the same time of year.

More than 500 people have now left their homes in the Whatcom area, according to local officials. In Sumas, on the border with Canada, 75 percent of homes have been damaged, it said on Tuesday.

Closed schools, houses with no electricity

From Saturday to Monday, 141 liters of water per square meter fell from Bellingham Airport. The norm of the monthly rainfall for November is 132 l / sq m. – the National Weather Service (NWS) reported. Tuesday in this city was the second day in a row with schools closed.

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Drone view of the flooding in the city of BellinghamReuters / BTV-City of Bellingham, Washington

There have been strong winds in western Washington in recent days. At one point on Monday, 158,000 customers were without electricity. Wind gusts reaching almost 100 kilometers per hour broke trees.

On Monday, state governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in 14 counties.

British Columbia under water

There is a difficult situation in the Canadian province of British Columbia bordering the state of Washington. One person died from a landslide caused by heavy rainfall. The landslide victim was found on Highway 99, one of the main roads in southern British Columbia.

Some localities in British Columbia are cut off from the rest of the world due to road closures, and evacuation has taken place in some localities in the province. On Tuesday evening, authorities called on all Sumas Prairie residents to immediately leave their homes due to the threat of flooding from the rising water of the nearby Fraser River.

In some localities, the amount of rainfall was recorded during the day, exceeding the average amount for the entire November.

The pineapple coffeemaker brought downpour

Experts explain that the cause of the downpour is a phenomenon called the pineapple espresso machine or the atmospheric river. It is a moisture-laden air current about 1.5 kilometers above the ground. It stretches from the waters of Hawaii (which it owes its name to – Hawaii is the main pineapple exporter) eastward, reaching the western part of the United States and Canada.

Reuters, CNN, NBC News, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Reuters / BTV-City of Bellingham, Washington



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