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Closures ahead of flooding event plus stronger winds are now expected

Whatcom News file video.

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.

HeightEstimated Time
15 feet9pm Friday
18 feet3am Saturday
20 feet3pm Saturday
20.13 feet (crest)3am Sunday
15 feet9pm 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.

Click for more information

Click for more information

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.


  1. LeAnn K Clement January 31, 2020

    Are Johnson, Olson, Haxton, etc roads to be open to get to the casino this weekend?

  2. Scott Henry January 31, 2020

    What’s the point of closing Slater rd? It’s not like it gets deep come on WC WTF like 4real you just like making it ridiculous for us to get throw I shere hope no one needs to get to the hospital in a hurry you guys suck that’s all I can say

  3. Leslie Warne January 31, 2020

    RAISE SLATER!!!!!!!! How many accidents have to happen on I5, main and Portal way exits before you guys Open your Eyes and make our city and workers commute to work safe…huh, put your thinking caps on…the solution is SIMPLE….RAISE SLATER ROAD RAISE SLATER ROAD RAISE SLATER ROAD, DID YOU GET IT YET RAISE SLATER ROAD

    • Doug Fir February 2, 2020

      Why not put the money into Ferndale’s roads to solve congestion? Then you would benefit year round instead of a couple days a year when Slater floods.

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