Mudslide closes section of Deschutes Parkway; flood warnings canceled for many local rivers

A flood watch, meaning conditions are favorable for flooding but flooding is not imminent or occurring, is in effect through Monday afternoon for all rivers in the region that aren't under flood warnings.

Mud and debris covering a section Deschutes Parkway SW near Interpretive Park forced the state to close the road. The slide occurred about 7:30 a.m., according to workers at the scene.

Landslides and localized flooding will remain a concern as the region continues to be pounded by rain throughout the day, said Ted Buehner, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

The Olympia area could see 3 ½ inches of rain before the heaviest precipitation tapers off this evening, Buehner said.

In the past 24 hours, 2.72 inches of rain has fallen in Olympia, which pales in comparison to the 5.36 inches that has fallen in Shelton.

Mountain rainfall totals are expected to range between 5 and 10 inches.

However, the heaviest rainfall is centralized in the north Puget Sound area, one of the reasons many local rivers have been lifted from the flood warning list.

“It turned out, most of our precip turned out in the north,” Buehner said.

According to the NWS, the following rivers are no longer under a flood warning:

+ Nisqually River near National affecting Lewis and Pierce counties

+ Deschutes River near Rainier affecting Thurston County

+ Cowlitz River at Randle affecting Lewis County

+ Skookumchuck River near Bucoda affecting Lewis and Thurston counties

+ Skookumchuck River near Centralia affecting Lewis County

+ Chehalis River near Doty affecting Lewis County

+ Chehalis River at Centralia affecting Lewis County

A flood warning remains in effect until Tuesday morning for the Chehalis River near Grand Mound. At 4 a.m. Sunday, the river was at 13 feet and flood stage is 14 feet, according to the NWS.

Forecasters expect the river to rise above flood stage about 7 p.m. tonight and crest near 14.1 feet by 10 p.m. The river will fall below flood stage Monday night.

Several roads in Independence Valley including James, Independence and Moon roads are expected to flood. Nearby farmlands are also expected to flood.

A flood warning also remains in effect for the Newakum River near Chehalis affecting Lewis County and the Chehalis River at Porter affecting Grays Harbor County.

An urban and small stream flood advisory is also in effect until 1:15 p.m. for 13 counties across the region, including Thurston, Grays Harbor and Pierce counties.

The heavier rain moved northward last night but the front is expected to move back into our area later today.

Up to four inches of rain are expected for the area by the time things calm down.