WENATCHEE — Cats and dogs were more like cougars and Great Danes Thursday during a intense, hour-long gully washer that broke a rainfall record and flooded city streets, but apparently caused no major damage.
Between about 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., 1.08 inches of rain fell at Pangborn Memorial Airport, the wettest area in the region recorded by National Weather Service equipment, forecaster Jeremy Wolf said from the agency’s office in Spokane.
“That amount of rainfall in one hour is extremely impressive for Wenatchee,” Wolf said.
It was enough to break the old Aug. 1 record of 0.37 inches, set in 1964, and more than five times the average 0.2 inches that typically falls in the entire month of August, he said.
It was also the second wettest August day on record since 1959. The wettest ever was Aug. 18, 1975, when 1.51 inches were recorded, Wolf said.
The brief but intense torrent blew the lid off at least one manhole and clogged stormwater drains with debris, temporarily flooding many city streets.
“Most of it was coming from the high end of town and filling up the pipes, Wenatchee city engineer Gary Owen said this morning. “I think our system handled it pretty well.”
In East Wenatchee, the rain washed sediment into drains along the Eastmont Avenue rebuild project, Mayor Steve Lacy said this morning, but caused no other damage that he’d heard of.
Nor were there reports of flooding or mud slides in Chelan County, including the burn area from the Colockum Tarps Fire, south of Malaga.
“We’re not doing anything special for this. It’s just business as usual,” Chelan County public works spokeswoman Lauren Loebsack said this morning.
Rainy weather could continue today with the possibility of more thunderstorms this afternoon. Showers are expected to decrease overnight.
A high temperature of 78 degrees is forecast for Wenatchee today, climbing to the mid 80s by Saturday and low 90s by Sunday with mostly sunny skies.
A warm period of drying will begin early next week, forecasters say.