Marine Drive was reopened this morning to through traffic east of Lummi Shore Drive/Road for the first time since being closed Friday November 2nd due to water over the roadway from river flooding. Whatcom County Public Works officials warn drivers there is still water and debris over the roadway.
For the past 4 days, “Road Closed” signs have been up on Marine Drive closing the road west of Lummi Shore Road/Drive, sometimes to Rural Avenue and other times to Ferndale Road depending on the amount of flooding during recent Nooksack River flooding events.
Under Washington law, RCW 47.48.040, “Road Closed” signs mark a location beyond which all private and commercial vehicle traffic is restricted. Only law enforcement, emergency services or official road crew vehicles are allowed beyond the signs.
But, Monday morning, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kevin McFadden was driving by the east end of the closed section of Marine Drive and encountered vehicles coming out of the closed section of Marine Drive. McFadden said he was kept busy for about over an hour writing tickets for driving around the “Road Closed” signs on Marine Drive.
McFadden pointed to the number of drivers in recent years who have driven past the “Road Closed” signs only to find themselves stranded, requiring them and their passengers to be rescued from the icy flood waters. Not only do they risk damage to their vehicle and serious injury to themselves and rescue crews, but drivers can face a fine of over $400 for driving through flooded roads that have been closed.