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Nooksack River begins spilling over into Ferndale

Floodwaters seen spilling over onto Main Street at 1st Avenue (November 15, 2021). Photo: Whatcom News

FERNDALE, Wash. — Neighbors to VanderYacht Park have been dealing with floodwaters surrounding their residences today, Monday, November 15th. But that is a more frequent occurrence than seeing floodwater flowing through downtown streets and the closure of Main Street on the east side of I-5.

Ferndale Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford told Whatcom News they closed all the roads around VanderYacht Park earlier today. But when the river level climbed over the 21.5-foot mark about 7pm he knew from past experience to begin dealing with flooding in other areas.

River water was flowing from the west end of Pioneer Bridge down Main Street and 1st Avenue. The road remains open but drivers are using the 2-way turn lane in the center of the road to avoid the deepest water.

On the east side of I-5, Main Street is closed between Barrett Road and the northbound I-5 ramps to Northwest Drive. Traffic is being detoured via Northwest Road and LaBounty Drive.

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As of 9pm, there was a visible effort underway to add sandbags the levee along Ferndale Road south of Pioneer Park where some leaking had begun.

Ferndale Road has been closed tonight from Ulrich Road to Pioneer Park.

Other notable road closures in the Ferndale area include the following.

  • Slater Road between LaBounty Drive and Ferndale Road
  • Ferndale Road between Slater and Marine Drive
  • Marine Drive between Rural Avenue and Lummi Shore Drive
  • Barrett/Paradise Roads
  • Imhof Road between Ulrich and Douglas Roads
  • S Church Road between Lampman and Douglas Roads
  • Lampman Road between S Church Road and Haxton Road

Water had begun encroaching onto I-5 north of the Main Street interchange about 8:30pm. Westford said he had just placed “Water over the road” signage on the northbound on-ramp at Main Street. By 9:25pm, Washington Department of Transportation officials announced they had closed the ramp.

Whatcom County Parks announced today they closed Hovander Homestead Park, the WDFW boat launch parking area and Tennant Lake Interpretive Center and Fragrance Garden. The areas will remain closed until floodwaters recede and repairs can be made.

The current Nooksack River level forecast at Ferndale predicts a crest at about 22.69 feet about 9pm tonight. Unfortunately, it will not begin quickly dropping. It is forecast to maintain a level above 20.5 feet until Wednesday and 18 feet until Wednesday night.

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