By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – While the rain is coming to an end this morning, flooding has affected many Lewis County residents and could affect more people over the next day or so.
Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputies rescued several people in the east end of the county overnight because of water in or around their homes and while the Cowlitz River at Packwood is receding, it continues to rise downstream at Randle.
The predicted record flooding on the Newaukum River in the west end did not materialize.
Still, many roads are closed, including a 45-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12 beginning east of Packwood and into Yakima County due to mud and debris across the road in multiple locations.
In Centralia, several city streets are closed this morning, including where there is approximately 6 inches of water over Kresky Avenue at Scott Johnson Road.
The Chehalis River at Doty appears to have crested lower than expected, so the flooding forecast for Chehalis and Centralia beginning later today is expected to be minor.
The Skookumchuck and Chehalis Rivers at Centralia are still being monitored for possible flood warnings.
The National Weather Service reports that rain, heavy at times, is coming to an end early this morning in the central and southern Cascades. Rivers in the region will crest today with the exception of the lower reaches of the Chehalis.
In the Randle area, the Cowlitz River river will continue to rise and crest just below 24 feet around 10 o’clock this morning. The river should fall below flood stage Thursday night.
The public is urged to continue to monitor the weather and river levels.
For photos and ongoing reports from members of the community, if you are on Facebook, check Lewis County Sirens on Facebook, here
For background, and useful links, read “Officials watching waterways, preparing for flooding” from Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 3:12 p.m., here