Take Winter By Storm campaign is urging King County residence to prepare themselves for lots of rain, cold and big snowstorms this La Nina year. Heavy rains could make flooding a reality in November and December, as happened in 2007, when La Nina rains flooded Interstate 5 near Olympia, shutting down the freeway for several days. La Niña occurs when the temperature of the ocean’s surface cools near the equator, sending ugly storms to the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures near the equator indicate this could be a particularly bad La Niña year; fall temperatures haven’t been this cool for more than 50 years. Emergency service providers are worried that on the heels of a mild 2009-10 fall and winter, Western Washington won’t be ready for stormy weather. During this soon-to-be cold winter, you’re going to want to prepare by changing out your filters in your furnace or have it replaced or serviced before the bad weather hits. In addition to staying safe and comfortable, an efficient and properly maintained heating system / furnace will help to keep heating bills as low as possible.