OKANOGAN – A fierce thunderstorm pummeled Okanogan County for several hours early Sept. 8 after pounding western Washington and rolling across the Cascades.
Minimal damage was done, despite all the flashes of lighting, crashes of thunder and splashes of rain.
“There was nothing much,” said Okanogan County Emergency Manager. He said the U.S. Forest Service had a road problem north of Mazama and some individuals may have had minor flooding or gravel washed away, but nothing was reported on a major scale.
Robin DeMario, spokeswoman for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, said a small slide was reported on Hart’s Pass Road north of Mazama. Crews cleared some of the debris, but people are advised to stay out of the area since the slide may still be active, especially with more rainfall in the forecast.
There’s no estimate on when repairs will occur.
Crews were still out Monday morning looking for other damage, she said.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area and, through Okanogan County’s emergency notification system, sent out an alert at 2:44 a.m. Sunday.
“A flash flood warning has been issued for your area of Okanogan County,” said the warning. “Persons should be aware of their surroundings and take action if needed.”
According to the National Weather Service, thunder was first reported in the Omak Municipal Airport area, where weather monitoring equipment is located, at 2:39 a.m. The wind had been from the north and north-northwest, but changed over the next three and a half hours to west-northwest, then southwest, northeast, west-northwest, south, southwest and north again.
Winds ranged from 6 mph to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.
Precipitation ranged from mist to heavy rain, with 0.23 inch falling from 2:58 a.m. to 7:53 a.m.
Dozens of lightning strikes were recorded.
The National Weather Service forecast calls for continued chance of showers through Tuesday, with mostly sunny and partly cloudy weather the rest of the week. Highs are expected to be in the high 70s through Thursday, with temperatures rising into the low 80s on Friday. The weekend could bring more rain.
A hazardous weather outlook is in place through Sunday, Sept. 15, for much of central Washington. Isolated thunderstorms remain possible, with continued risk for localized flooding or mudslides, especially around burn scars or in steep terrain, said the weather service.
Sunday morning’s storm brought lightning, thunder and rain to western Washington, along with power outages, flooding and a few fires.