Lewis County residents may be catching some rays this afternoon as the heavy rain of the last two days begins to let up. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, The Chronicle had received no reports from the Lewis County Swift Water Rescue Team. In this case, no news may be good news.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is now forecasting the Cowlitz River at Randle to crest in the minor flood stage around 4 p.m. Tuesday, after it was originally predicted on Monday to reach the major flood stage. This is good news for East Lewis County, as U.S. Highway 12 is not expected to be inundated with flood water, according to the Lewis County Department of Emergency Management (DEM).
The Cowlitz at Packwood has had no flooding. Although it was forecast on Monday to reach the minor flood stage, the forecast has since been adjusted down.
The Newaukum River near Chehalis crested around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning in the NWS’s moderate flood category, taking over parts of Hamilton Road in Napavine. It is forecast to recede throughout the day. A farmer on Hamilton Road told The Chronicle his cows made their way to the top of a bark pile — also known as a critter pad — to stay out of the river’s rising path overnight.
The Chehalis River is covering part of state Route 6 near Twin Oaks Road in Adna, but the road is not yet closed. Water over roadway warnings have been set up on both sides of the inundated area.
The Skookumchuck River at Centralia and the Chehalis River at Centralia are forecast to reach the action stage — the flood phase before the minor category — and crest around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The Chehalis River near Grand Mound, at around noon on Tuesday, crossed into the minor flood level and is forecast to crest just into the moderate stage around 4 a.m. on Wednesday.
The Chehalis River at Doty and the Nisqually River near National have both crested, according to DEM.
State Route 7 between Morton and Mineral is closed to all but local traffic (check out the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Twitter for updates). There is no estimated time for its reopening as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol will now be issuing citations for people who ignore road closure signs. According to the DEM: “Turn around. Don’t Drown.”
For a full list of Lewis County road closures visit https://roads.lewiscountywa.gov/.
All river levels can be monitored here at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=sew
Some roads in Lewis County are being impacted by surface water flooding and are closed. The DEM posts updates on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100072464765616.