Flood watch issued for South Sound counties

Alert sent to upper Nisqually River residents about increased outflow from dam

OlympianMarch 5, 2014 

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch through late Thursday night for most of Western Washington, including Thurston, Lewis, Mason and Pierce counties.

According to Jay Neher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Seattle, the Olympia-area can expect periods of rain through Thursday afternoon, with “a little bit of a break Friday and Saturday.”

One to three inches of rain has been forecast for the area, and that is usually enough to cause flooding on flood-prone rivers and small streams and creeks, according to the National Weather Service.

In addition, Thurston County emergency manager Kathy Estes said the county sent an automated phone call on Wednesday to residents who live along the upper Nisqually River, in the Yelm area, to alert them that Tacoma Power was increasing its outflow on Wednesday afternoon from the LaGrande Dam.

“That’s going to show a little bit of rise on the Nisqually River,” Estes said.

Estes said officials weren’t expecting major flooding in Thurston County related to the storm, but noted that residents who live near rivers or in low lying areas can take precautions to protect their property if water levels begin to climb.

For more information on flooding including where to pick up sandbags, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/em/Flood/Floodinfo.htm.

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