By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Flood warnings continue for area rivers including the Skookumchuck River near Bucoda, the Chehalis River around Doty and Grand Mound as well as the Newaukum River near Chehalis.
Late this afternoon, the National Weather Service advised a flood watch in Lewis County for the Skookumchuck, other portions of the Chehalis River and even East Lewis County.
In the past 24 hours, as much as two and a half inches of rain has fallen over some of the lowlands, with three to six inches dropping over the Cascade and Olympic mountains, according to the weather service.
A wind advisory is in place for tomorrow in the Southwest Interior.
The city of Centralia this afternoon reports the heavy rains have caused local rivers and streams to rise and some streets have been closed.
“There is a sand bag station open in the large parking lot behind the Bethel Church located near the corner of Center Street and North Pearl Street,” Centralia Police Department Public Information Officer John Panco stated in a press release.
The city asks motorists if they must drive through water over the roadway, to please go slow.
“The wake from vehicles may cause water to flow into houses and cause damage to property,” Panco stated.
The city does not expect the water to rise significantly, but will monitor for changes, according to Panco.
Haliday Road this afternoon has water over it but remained passable, Panco said.
Due to China Creek rising, the intersection of West Magnolia and North Iron streets has water covering the roadway. Also East Third at North Gold street is covered by water. Both have been closed off by the street department.
“If the road has been closed off by road closed signs do not drive past the signs. This is dangerous and it’s against the law.”
Minor flooding is occurring and both minor and moderate flooding are in the forecast.
Today’s rain will lead to an increase in threat of landslides in Western Washington, which has already occurred in some places. State Route 7 was blocked by a mudslide this afternoon at Mineral Road South.
U.S. Highway 12 is closed in both directions around White Pass, because of multiple snow slides, and will remain shut down through the night, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The closures are at milepost 138 to 183.
WSDOT will evaluate conditions and provide an update by 10 am tomorrow.
The public can monitor the changing conditions for their area by checking the the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle. Information on current and forecasted river levels can be found here.