Forecasters expect a frontal system will produce periods of rain over western Washington through Monday. The heaviest rainfall will fall along the west slopes of the Cascades and river basins late tonight and Sunday. This will result create a potential for river flooding in portions of northwest Washington and west central Washington including the Nooksack River in Whatcom County. As a result, a Flood Watch has been issued from midnight tonight through late Monday night.
The Nooksack River level forecast as of 11:20am today says to expect the river level to crest just past the lower limit of the official Minor Flood Stage of 18 feet before noon on Monday.
The river level is expected to pass the 17-foot mark about 12 hours prior around midnight.
The river level recently crested at the 16.5-foot mark Tuesday, January 30th, resulting in the closure of Marine Drive, Ferndale Road and Barrett/Paradise Roads. There was also a speed reduction on Slater Road, east of the river bridge, due to water over the roadway.
Given the ground has been completely saturated due to several days of rain, it is likely Slater Road will be more impacted by the higher river level during this flooding event.
The official “Minor Flood Stage” begins at the 18-foot mark. Historically, low lying roads near the river are closed including Slater Road, Marine Drive, Ferndale Road and Barrett/Paradise Roads by the time the river reaches this level. Water will begin topping the river’s banks at many points including Hovander Homestead Park and VanderYacht Park as well.
River level forecasts can change quickly and drivers and property owners are advised to monitor the latest forecast.