The current National Weather Service (NWS) Nooksack River level forecast in Ferndale is predicting the river will rise about 10 feet between 6pm tonight and 6pm Tuesday, January 30th, a result of heavy rains predicted in the north Cascades mountains and lowlands tonight through Monday evening.
NWS forecasters today said, “A frontal system will stall over far northern Washington or Southern British Columbia tonight. The front will move slowly southward through the area as a cold front later Monday into Monday night. Heavy rain in the mountains will bring a risk of flooding to the rivers that flow out of the Olympics and North Cascades.”
An Areal Flood Watch was issued across several western Washington counties, including Whatcom, for Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon.
Monday’s expected heavy rain on already saturated soil also creates landslide concerns according to a NWS special statement this afternoon.
The Nooksack River level is forecast to reach a level of 17 feet Monday evening and remain between 17 and 18 feet until Wednesday morning. This sustained high level across about 36 hours combined with the already saturated soil increases the probability for closing Slater Road and Marine Drive and for the closures to span more than one day. Drivers should be prepared to take alternate routes.
Based on historical observations, some minor flooding can be expected when the river level meets or exceeds the 15-foot mark. Such river flooding impacts would include:
- Water over the roadway on Ferndale Road north of Marine Drive and also north of Slater Road
- Water over the roadway at the corner of Barrett and Paradise Roads
At 17 feet, the river will overtop its banks and begin flooding VanderYacht Park and low pasture lands along the river and roadways within the floodplain including Slater Road.
River level forecasts change frequently so drivers and property owners are advised to continue monitoring updates.