Is this the biggest single evacuation of people from an area that the Northwest has ever had? There's case to be made for what's going on now in Pierce County:
Rob Harper of Washington Emergency Management: “This is the largest evacuation in scope and scale. We haven’t dealt with something like this before. It’s hitting more populous areas and an industrial area – it has a much more devastating impact on the economy.”
The raw numbers: About 40,000 people being strongly advised to leave, whole communities including Puyallup and Orting. Everyone living in the Orting Valley, which was being flooded by the Puyalup River, was being asked to leave their homes.
|Flooding in Lewis County|
And that isn't even the heaviest flooding, which seems to be around the Centralia-Chehalis area. Again. for the second year in a row, in an area (about halfway between Portland and Seattle) that historically is a little drier than most parts of western Washington. The flooding is so severe that Seattle and Portland effectively are cut off from land transportation.
Indications are that skies are clearing and the precip may be slowing. Couldn't come too soon.