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VanderYacht Park after the Nooksack River level reached the 18-foot mark (November 18, 2015). Photo: My Ferndale News

Road closures likely, again, given current river level forecast

FERNDALE, Wash. — The current Nooksack River level forecast at Ferndale predicts the river will crest at 17.9 feet about 5pm on Friday, January 24th. This would place it just short of the official minor flood stage range of 18 to 20.5 feet but high enough to impact low-lying roads near the river.

Recent and forecast heavy rains in the mountains are the reason for the rising river level forecast.

Possible impacts around Ferndale at the current forecast river levels include:

  • After the river level reaches the 15-foot mark (expected about 9pm Thursday), water and debris begins spreading across some low-lying roads such as the corner of Barrett/Paradise Roads, W Smith Road west of LaBounty Drive, Marine Drive west of Ferndale Road and Ferndale Road on both sides of Slater Road.
  • By the time the river reaches the 16-foot mark (expected before midnight Thursday) road closures are likely for Barrett/Paradise Roads, Marine Drive west of Rural Avenue and Ferndale Road south of Slater.
  • After the river level reaches the 17-foot mark (expected about 5am Friday), the river has begun spreading into VanderYacht Park. Depending on the saturation level of nearby pasture land, flood waters may begin covering Slater Road east of the river bridge enough to require closing the road
  • By the time the river reaches the 18-foot mark (expected about 5pm Friday), Hovander Homestead Park and adjacent Tennant Lake area may be closed due to flooding concerns. Slater Road has typically been closed by this point.

River level forecasts are prone to changes so monitoring the forecast is advised.

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The duration for road closures depends on the speed the river recedes after cresting.

Road closures, including closing Slater Road, recently occurred 2 weeks ago when the river level rose and crested at 16.6 feet.


  1. Scott Henry Scott Henry January 23, 2020

    Ferndale cannot handle the traffic when Slater Road is closed why don’t they raise the road? so this doesn’t happen! but no instead they want to build a gate this is ridiculous that we have to drive around to get to work not to mention leaving two and a half hours early just to get through Ferndale so thanks Whatcom County and I am sure I’m speaking for a lot of people

  2. Gene Goldsmith Gene Goldsmith January 23, 2020

    Rather than raising the road or putting up a gate, why don’t we use common sense and dredge the river like we did before 1985 and lower the water table and have a healthy fish habitat and rare flooding. If you throw enough rocks in a bucket, it will overflow.

    • Scott Henry Scott Henry January 23, 2020

      I had said that in a different post I agree dredging should happen but it won’t because there’s too many tree-huggers out there worried about it hurting the Salmon Run

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