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A section of nearly a half-mile of sandbags added to bolster the levee along Ferndale Road with Nooksack River in the distance flowing at a level of about 8 feet (November 24, 2021). Photo: Whatcom News

Local officials are closely monitoring approaching weather systems

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Officials with Whatcom County said this afternoon, November 24th, they were “closely monitoring a series of storms that are forecasted to affect our region starting tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 24, and continuing through next week.”

They noted that since the current Nooksack River level forecast expects it to crest inside of the “Minor Flood Stage” ranges at the Cedarville and Ferndale monitoring gauge sites, “this is a good opportunity to ensure your household and your vehicle is fully stocked and prepared for inclement weather. It is a time to prepare, not a time to panic.”

Existing storm drains, ditches and retention ponds remain at or near capacity from the previous storm system, and soils are saturated. These conditions increase the possibility of surface and street flooding, standing water, and other water-related flooding events. Public Works employees are on call and ready to respond during the holiday weekend if any additional flooding occurs. Saturated soils also increase the likelihood of landslides or mudslides. If you live in a slide-prone area, please monitor the area and call 911 if you believe a slide is occurring or has occurred.  

Bridges: All Whatcom County bridges have been assessed. No structural damage was found.  

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Roads: All arterials and 80-percent of the county’s major and minor collector roads, and 50- percent of minor county roads have been inspected. Whatcom County Public Works is working on major repairs to Birch Bay Lynden, Northwest, Drayton Harbor, Goshen, North Fork, Silver Lake, South Pass, Sunset, and Beach roads. Crews will reopen these roads as soon as possible. No reopening dates have been set at this time. Check the road closures and restrictions list for updates

Levees: Levees: All major levees have been inspected. Three levees breached and the US Army Corps of Engineers is working on emergency repairs. Those are Twin View (in Everson), Timon (near Lynden), and Rainbow Slough (on the Lummi Peninsula). A breach in the Marine Drive levee may cause more frequent flooding of Marine Drive, Slater Road and potentially Haxton Way. Backslope damage also occurred on the Lynden Levee and Polinder Levee and interim measures have been taken to reduce the potential for additional damage. The City of Ferndale has also taken interim measures to reduce the risk of additional riprap damage on a portion of the Ferndale Levee.

Whatcom County Public Works (November 24, 2021)

A community meeting is scheduled for tonight at 6pm.

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