News Flash

Public Works - News

Posted on: November 25, 2021

Public Works, Sheriff's Office Closely Monitoring Incoming Storm Systems

Officials across all branches of Whatcom County government are closely monitoring a series of storms that will bring rain to our region through next week. If you were affected by flooding from the previous storm, see the Flood Impact Resources list at the bottom of this News Flash. 

At this time the Nooksack River is forecast to crest just over flood stage at Cedarville and Ferndale. These forecasts change frequently, check the Whatcom County Public Works River Forecast Webpage for updates. It is important to remember that weather forecasts can and do change as computer models gather additional information. As such, this is a good opportunity to ensure your household and your vehicle is fully stocked and prepared for inclement weather. It is a time to prepare, not a time to panic. 

Existing storm drains, ditches and retention ponds remain at or near capacity from the previous storm system, and soils are saturated. These conditions increase the possibility of surface and street flooding, standing water, and other water-related flooding events. Public Works employees are on call and ready to respond during the holiday weekend if any additional flooding occurs. Saturated soils also increase the likelihood of landslides or mudslides. If you live in a slide-prone area, please monitor the area and call 911 if you believe a slide is occurring or has occurred.  

Important Tips to Remember: 

PUBLIC WORKS INFRASTRUCTURE ASSESSMENTS AND REPAIRS CONTINUE  

Preliminary damage assessments are complete for most of the county’s critical public works infrastructure. Approximately 62 damage sites were found that impacted the county’s levees, roads, or bridges.  

Bridges: All Whatcom County bridges have been assessed. No structural damage was found.  

Roads: All arterials and 80-percent of the county’s major and minor collector roads, and 50- percent of minor county roads have been inspected. Whatcom County Public Works is working on major repairs to Birch Bay Lynden, Northwest, Drayton Harbor, Goshen, North Fork, Silver Lake, South Pass, Sunset, and Beach roads. Crews will reopen these roads as soon as possible. No reopening dates have been set at this time. Check the road closures and restrictions list for updates

Levees: Levees: All major levees have been inspected. Three levees breached and the US Army Corps of Engineers is working on emergency repairs. Those are Twin View (in Everson), Timon (near Lynden), and Rainbow Slough (on the Lummi Peninsula). A breach in the Marine Drive levee may cause more frequent flooding of Marine Drive, Slater Road and potentially Haxton Way. Backslope damage also occurred on the Lynden Levee and Polinder Levee and interim measures have been taken to reduce the potential for additional damage. The City of Ferndale has also taken interim measures to reduce the risk of additional riprap damage on a portion of the Ferndale Levee. 

Stormwater Systems: County stormwater systems and key public outfalls have been inspected. Several systems were damaged and will be repaired as soon as possible. Two systems at Coronado and Cottonwood Court were damaged and will be repaired.   

IN CONCLUSION 

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, along with Whatcom County Public Works and other first responder agencies, remain on call for emergency repairs and response over the long holiday weekend, and to respond to any additional flooding or landslide issues. 

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Flood Impact Resources 


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