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Intersection of Ferndale Road and Marine Drive while Nooksack River level was at 17 feet (November 14, 2015) Photo: My Ferndale News

Flood Watch issued for Nooksack River – park and road closures expected

FERNDALE, Wash. — The Nooksack River level forecast at Ferndale continues to warn of impacts on Ferndale area roads and properties beginning tonight, Friday, January 31st and continuing through the weekend.

A Flood Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service that will remain in effect from this afternoon through Sunday morning.

Several rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall into this weekend. Rivers are expected to rise, with some rivers reaching flood stage as early as this evening. Snow levels will be around 6,000 to 8,000 feet through tonight. Heavy rainfall may also cause periods of minor urban flooding. The exact placement of heaviest rainfall this afternoon into tonight remains uncertain and will have a direct influence on the magnitude and placement of flooding. Widespread minor to moderate river flooding is most likely, but major flooding is also possible. Rivers from King County northward are at greatest risk of reaching moderate to major flood severity.

National Weather Service statement issued 2:21am January 31, 2020

The river level is expected to reach the 15-foot mark, when road impacts typically can expect to begin, after 7pm Friday. The river level is expected to continue rising until cresting just past the 20-foot mark sometime after 7am Sunday.

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Drivers should be alert to water and debris over roads and obey road closure and detour signs.

Whatcom County Emergency Management Deputy Director John Gargett said in an email yesterday “Slater Road and Marine Drive will flood and [are] expected to be shut down Friday night, probably for 3-4 days.”

City of Ferndale Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford said they plan to close the parking lot at VanderYacht Park by the end of day today. He said Public Works held an “all hands” meeting yesterday and discussed their preparations for and response to the anticipated flooding. He said they were basing their preparations on the 2009 flood event but was hopeful the river level forecast would hold true and this event would not be as challenging.

City of Ferndale Public Works staff get a refresher on sandbagging in preparation for a forecast flood event (January 30, 2020). Photo courtesy of City of Ferndale

River level forecasts are prone to frequent changes so monitoring the forecast for the latest updates is advised.

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The MFN Traffic page will be updated to reflect river flooding road impacts including drive time estimates for multiple routes.

One Comment

  1. Scott Henry Scott Henry January 31, 2020

    I said it ones and I am saying it a gen Ferndale can not handle Slater rd closing why won’t they raise the rode or dredg the river problem solved it’s not fair we got to go throw Ferndale to get to work. It’s not even river water it’s just standing water it’s not like we can get washed down river for driving throw a little water

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