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Flood watch issued for western Washington rivers as strong weather system approaches

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SEATTLE -- The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for portions of northwest Washington and west central Washington starting at 4 p.m. and lasting through Wednesday afternoon. 

It includes the following counties: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clallam, Jefferson, Mason and Whatcom.

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

A strong weather system will bring continued heavy rainfall today through Wednesday, especially over portions of the Olympics and in the Cascades, likely causing significant rises on area rivers.

Minor flooding is possible as soon as this evening on the Skokomish River in Mason County, and early Wednesday on rivers including the Nooksack, Stillaguamish, and Snoqualmie Rivers.

Other rivers off the Olympics or Cascades may also reach flood stage, particularly if rainfall is heavier than forecast. 

Snow levels will be generally above 6,000 feet Tuesday, but lowering to around 4,000 feet late Wednesday afternoon. The snow level could impact the runoff and potential flooding, depending on how low and how quickly snow levels lower on Wednesday.

There will also be an increased threat for landslides in areas that experience heavy rainfall.

Residents who live in flood-prone areas should be prepared. 

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