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Nooksack River to rise more than 10 feet in Ferndale

Fortunately, the Nooksack River level at Ferndale is below the 4-foot mark so the forecast for it to rise by more than ten feet in only a few days is not leading to worries of significant river flooding.

The current river level forecast for the Nooksack River at Ferndale shows it cresting at just under the 16-foot mark late Thursday, October 19th. That would be an increase of 11.9 feet over 3 days.

Over the next few days, rain is predicted locally and heavy rains are expected in the north Cascades which is expected to result in the rising river level.

Some minor flooding can be expected when the river level meets or exceeds the 15-foot mark. Based on historical observations, such river flooding impacts would include:

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* 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
* Flooding of the WDFW parking lot on Marine Drive
* Water over the roadway at corner of Marine Drive south of Country Lane

Officially, minor flooding isn’t expected until the river reaches 18 feet. This reflects the new official Ferndale flood levels recently announced by the National Weather Service. According to today’s announcement, the three official flood stages have been adjusted as follows:

Flood Stage New Stage Old Stage
Minor Flood 18.0 Feet 19.0 Feet
Moderate Flood 20.5 Feet 21.0 Feet
Major Flood 23.0 Feet 23.0 Feet


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Surface water flooding may also be a concern this week especially when stormwater drains become covered with leaves and debris during the expected rains over the next few days.

Drivers need to be alert for water and debris over roadways and respect road closure signs. Do not assume the reason for the closure is only due to water over the roadway when it is also possible the roadbed has been undermined and is unsafe to drive on.

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