FERNDALE, Wash. — The latest forecast for the Nooksack River level at Ferndale is lower than previously expect but still shows the river is expected to remain above flood stage for about 48 hours. The official Flood Watch has been extended from a Saturday expiration to expiring Sunday morning.
The river is expected to pass the following heights during its rise and subsequent fall.
Height Estimated Time 15 feet 9pm Friday 18 feet 3am Saturday 20 feet 3pm Saturday 20.13 feet (crest) 3am Sunday 15 feet 9pm Sunday
In anticipation of the river reaching flood stage overnight, Whatcom County Public Works announced this afternoon, Friday, January 31st, that they plan to close Slater Road between LaBounty Drive and Ferndale Road by 8pm unless they need to do so sooner.
City of Ferndale Public Works announced they will be closing the parking lot at VanderYacht Park by 5pm this evening.
Whatcom County Parks announced they will be closing Hovander Homestead Park, including Tennant Lake Interpretive Center and the Fragrance Garden, boat launch and park trails at 4:30pm today. These will remain closed until it is approved to reopen by property inspections conducted after floodwaters recede.
In addition to the flooding concerns, a High Wind Warning has been updated to warn of sustained south winds of 40 to 50mph with gusts up to 65mph. Those winds would be more powerful than the earlier forecast sustained 25 to 45mph winds with gusts up to 50 or 60mph. Power outages and property damage can be expected due to falling trees and branches.
During a briefing of public safety officials this afternoon, County Department of Emergency Management Deputy Director John Gargett noted that trees will be more vulnerable during these powerful winds due to how “totally saturated” the ground is.
Gargett also warned that the lowland rain forecast is for continuing heavy rain. This is expect to result in lowland flooding at low points on roads and near creeks and streams.
Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu has signed a Proclamation of Emergency with the expectation of moderate to major flooding throughout the county beginning Friday night and through the weekend.