This was the scene I saw on Rainier Ave just a little bit north of Lowe’s on my way to work at about 4:45pm on Thursday. There was a lot of water on the road. I pulled in to the Mc Donald’s lot, ran in and grabbed some food to go, and saw this when I came out. This was substantially more water than had been there when I came in only a few minutes earlier. It was basically a flash flood, it happened so fast. The line of cars is Rainier Ave, and I am facing northwest. The rain had just slowed way down at this point. When I went into the McDonald’s, visibility was really bad but it improved while I was inside.
The car in front was abandoned in the high water. It doesn’t look high enough to stall it yet, but who knows. Maybe they just didn’t want to drive any further in it, and I wouldn’t blame them. Who knows what kind of sinkholes could be lurking there?
I was able to get out of the lot just to the left of the part you see in this picture, where the water was a lot shallower. I watched someone else try it first and saw that it was passable. The water on Rainier itself wasn’t that deep yet — it was at intersections and side roads, like the one here where the car is abandoned, that you had to be careful. People were driving down the left turn lane quite a bit.
From this point I had to drive about 3-4 miles up to (roughly) Pier 70. This took me two hours. Yep.
This was before the windstorm started. It was actually pretty calm by the time I got to work. By that point the rain had stopped and it really was the proverbial calm before the storm.