SEATTLE (AP) -- The National Weather Service is promising to beef up its efforts to predict heavy rains and possible flooding for the Green River Valley south of Seattle.

A weakened earthen embankment at Howard Hanson Dam has increased the risk of flooding this winter in the valley south of Seattle.

Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell says National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes has agreed to provide additional forecasting equipment and earlier and more frequent weather forecasts to give local officials and residents more time to plan for a flood. The agency also will bring in extra staffers to help out during major storms in the state.

Also, King County has started installing evacuation signs if flooding this winter forces people to flee the Green River Valley.

The county is putting up 27 blue and white signs with directional arrows along 11 roads in the valley. The county, state and local governments have been working for months to identify the best evacuation routes. Metro Transit also has made plans to alter 30 bus routes if roads are closed by high water.

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