The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings in Thurston County for the Deschutes River near Rainier, the Skookumchuck River near Bucoda and the Chehalis River near Grand Mound.
▪ The water level of the Deschutes River reached 9 feet at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, and the flood stage is 11 feet, according to the weather service. The river was expected to rise above the flood stage at 2 p.m. Thursday and crest at 12.3 feet by 10 p.m. Thursday.
Minor flooding has been predicted downstream at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course and in several residential areas, including Cougar Mountain and Driftwood Valley, according to the weather service. Several roads and farms will likely be flooded.
The river is expected to fall below flood stage Friday (Feb. 10).
▪ The flood warning for the Skookumchuck River will be in place through Saturday evening. The water level had reached 10.1 feet at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, and the flood stage is 13.5 feet, according to the weather service. The river was expected to rise above flood stage at 7 p.m. Thursday and crest at about 15.5 feet by 10 a.m. Friday, with the river falling below flood stage Friday night.
The Skookumchuck River is expected to flood several residential and business areas near Bucoda once the water reaches 15 feet.
▪ The flood warning for the Chehalis River will be in place through Sunday morning. The water level had reached 10.1 feet at 9 a.m. Thursday, and the flood stage is 14 feet, according to the weather service.
The Chehalis River is expected to rise above flood stage at 2 a.m. Friday and crest at 16.4 feet by 10 p.m. Friday with the river falling below flood stage Saturday night.
Several roads will be flooded in Independence Valley, including Highway 12, and floodwaters are expected to cut off access to the Chehalis Reservation.
▪ State and city crews are preparing sandbags for possible flooding Friday morning at Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. The Department of Enterprise Services issued a warning of potential flooding between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. near the state-owned lake, including Heritage Park. The lake is located at the mouth of the Deschutes River.
Flooding at Capitol Lake could affect traffic on Adams and Columbia streets as well as Thurston, B, Fourth and Seventh avenues in downtown Olympia, according to the department. The department uses a flood-monitoring tool to predict potential flooding and reduce lake levels if necessary. The flood elevation for the lake is 11.5 feet. High tide levels for Budd Inlet are expected to approach 15.4 feet at 5:29 a.m. Friday, according to the NOAA’s tide predictions.
Drivers are urged to avoid flooded roads. The weather service reports that most flood-related deaths in Washington are attributed to driving vehicles through flooded areas.