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Wet week ahead brings potential for river flooding

National Weather Service (NWS) Seattle office forecasters say a series of weather systems are expected to move across western Washington starting tonight and continuing into the weekend.

The first system is expected this evening and will be breezy and drop up to a quarter-inch of rainfall locally overnight and again tomorrow as it will likely make for a breezy and soggy trick-or-treating Halloween evening.

The next system is expected to roll in early Thursday with another round of wind and rain, this system could bring 1 to 2 inches of rain Thursday.

Rain is expected to continue through Friday but not as heavy.

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Saturday may be the first break in the rains according to forecast models. But the respite will be short-lived as another wet system is expected to arrive late Saturday.

With all this rainfall, locally and in the mountains, the Nooksack River level forecast for the Ferndale area warns of the potential for minor flooding. The river level is expected to exceed the 15-foot mark Friday around noon. This is the point when river flooding historically begins to impact low-lying roads near the river.

The current forecast has the river level cresting a half-foot shy of the 20-foot mark, within the official minor flood range of 18 to 20.5 feet.

The following are potential impacts that can be expected as the river rises.

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At 18 feet (minor flood stage)
The river begins overtopping its banks within the City of Ferndale flooding low-lying areas within the City and low pasture lands along the river from near Ferndale downstream to the mouth. Impacted areas can include VanderYacht and Hovander Homestead Parks.

At 17 feet
The Nooksack River will overtop levees along Bertrand Creek and near Marine Drive, causing shallow flooding of low pasture lands along the river and additional roadways within the floodplain including Slater Road.

At 16 feet
The river begins spilling over its banks into low pasture lands flooding some roadways that are not protected by levees including Marine Drive and Ferndale Road.

Drivers should be alert for the potential for water on roadways.

River level forecasts change frequently. Stay up-to-date by monitoring the My Ferndale News river forecast page.

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