Skagit River monitored for flooding, residents hoping for sun

Skagit County has had so much rain, the county's Department of Emergency Management and Public Works is monitoring the Skagit River for flooding. 

Residents and visitors, meantime, have been hoping for a break in the weather and have been wondering if summer will ever come. 

"Definitely want summertime to come," said Laura Ward, the owner of Blackburn Gardens.  

Ward sells flowers at a farm stand and grows them in the back of her Mount Vernon home. 

"This is what I do, cut flowers bouquets," she said. 

But, this year the cold temperatures and rain have made for very late blooms. 

"My straw flowers, everyone goes crazy for them," she said, showing one of the buds.  "I can’t cut it because it’s too floppy yet.  Lots of buds, but they just aren’t opening." 

"Because of the weather, my cart is a lot emptier than it usually is," she added. 

Ward's daughter, Merrill, says the family's chickens are also unimpressed with the rain. 

"They usually hide under the porch," she said.  

She says people have been hiding indoors as well in the Mount Vernon area.  "We went to watch the new Top Gun movie and we saw lots of people," Merrill said. 

Rain has even delayed travel plans for some in Skagit County.  Manon Fitzpatrick said she was planning on visiting her daughter Thursday, but decided to wait due to heavy rain.

"I was supposed to come up last night because I have a daughter in the hospital in Anacortes," said Fitzpatrick.  "I chose not to make the trip because of the storm that was here."

Flooding has also been a concern for the Skagit River, especially this weekend.  However, Danica Sessions, Communications Manager for Skagit County, says the National Weather Service released an updated forecast with rain forecasts downgraded to below flood levels for the remainder of this week and into the weekend. 

Sessions says given the serious flooding in November 2021, the county wants to make sure people are aware of the situation on the Skagit River. 

Even though it's going to run below minor flood stage over the next few days, they are encouraging people to sign up for code red alerts to keep updated on river activity. 

This was the full statement released by the county: 

"The National Weather Service has released new weather predictions for Skagit County, with rain forecasts downgraded to below flood levels for the remainder of this week and into the weekend. No flood watch or warning is anticipated at this time.

Skagit County’s Department of Emergency Management and Public Works will continue to actively monitor the situation and will communicate if river level predications change over the coming days.

To keep updated on current conditions and flood stages, Skagit County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts. 

"It’s definitely higher than it normally is in June that’s for sure," said Ward about the river. 

As authorities keep an eye on the water levels, Ward is crossing her fingers for summer-like weather. 

"I have people asking, you know, ordering bulk orders for next week or the next week and I don’t know what I can tell them, because I have tons of buds but if we don’t get sunshine, I can’t say if they will open in time," said Ward.