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Rain Raises Flood, Avalanche Danger in WA

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credit:  Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

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SEATTLE (AP) — A storm moving through the Northwest has raised the chance of rivers flooding in Western Washington and avalanche danger in the Cascades. Strong gusty winds could cause damage in parts of Eastern Washington.

The National Weather Service forecasts heavy rains into Wednesday, especially along the coast and mountains as the freezing level rises to 7,000 feet. On top of recent heavy snow, that creates an extreme avalanche danger in the Cascades and Olympics.

Both Snoqualmie and Stevens passes were closed early Tuesday for avalanche control.

Rain and melting snow will fill rivers, and the Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most Western Washington rivers through Thursday afternoon.

Flooding also is possible in the Wenatchee River basin. Forecasters say strong localized winds are possible Tuesday night around Wenatchee.

– Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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