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Nooksack River level forecast warns of minor flooding

Water over the roadway on Marine Drive west of Ferndale Road after the Nooksack River crested just below 16′ in Ferndale (November 6, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The National Weather Service Seattle office said this morning, November 10th, heavy rainfall in the Cascade Mountains is expected to result in driving up the Nooksack River level. Forecast river levels are not creating concern in the upper reaches but are high enough to create road impacts in the Ferndale area.

Periods of heavy rain with a high snow level are forecast as a warm front moves through the area on Thursday. On Friday another system in this atmospheric river will bring heavy rain in the mountains and some lowland areas could see over 2 inches of rain as well. Recent heavy lowland rain has saturated soils which increases the potential for river flooding along with urban and small stream flooding.

As a result of the rain and rising snow levels, the current Nooksack River level forecast shows it cresting late Friday below actionable levels in the upper gauge locations and early Saturday in Ferndale just below the official minor flood stage range.

Road impacts expected after the river reaches the 15-foot mark in Ferndale include the following.

  • Water and debris over the roadway on Ferndale Road north of Marine Drive and also north of Slater Road
  • Water and debris over the roadway at the corner of Barrett and Paradise Roads
  • Flooding of the WDFW parking lot on Marine Drive
  • Water and debris over the roadway on Marine Drive west of Ferndale Road

If the current river level forecast is realized, Marine Drive, Ferndale Road (south of Slater Road) and Slater Road may be closed based on recent history.

Drivers and property owners near the river are advised to continue monitoring the river level forecast for the Nooksack River.

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