Nisqually Delta area residents urged to evacuate

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. -- The Thurston County Sheriff's Office urged residents in the Nisqually Delta area to evacuate before Tacoma Power increased the water flow from the LaGrande Dam in Eatonville and caused an already swollen Nisqually River to overflow its banks.

According to the sheriff's office, Tacoma Power increased the flow to 17,000 cubic feet per second by 1 p.m. Thursday. Peak river height was expected by 4 p.m., but by Friday morning, there were several inches of standing water that was covering fire hydrants and reaching homes in the area.

Residents living near Nisqually Delta, Durgin Road, Kuhlman Road, and Nisqually Cut-Off Road were urged to evacuate. Thurston County Emergency Management says there are 700-1,000 people who live in the evacuation zone.

The Red Cross has opened a temporary shelter at the Gwinwood Christian Camp and Conference Center in Lacey.

The Lacey Fire Department urges residents to abide by the following:

    "Don't be a statistic," Lacey Fire said on its Twitter page.

    Residents can monitor river levels here.

    Widespread flooding has been reported from Snohomish County to East King County as heavy rains hammer western Washington.

    In Issaquah, the Issaquah Creek is at stage 4 flood level and has turned parking lots and roadways into fast-flowing rivers. Maple Valley residents are somewhat stranded, as Issaquah-Hobart Road and SR-169 (Maple Valley Highway) at Cedar Grove Road  are closed because of floodwaters from the Cedar River.

    Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency for 19 counties as floods and winter weather continue.

    The proclamation affects Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whatcom Counties.