Even though the rain has stopped for now, the Cowlitz River is expected to rise another foot on Friday before water levels start receding.
The flood levels are expected to crest Friday evening, according to Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza.
“If you want to get out, now is the time, but I think we’re seeing the worst of it,” Snaza said Friday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office took part in multiple rescue operations in the Randle area Friday afternoon:
Three campers at Cascade Peaks Family Campground were rescued by the Swift Water Team earlier today. And 15 people, including a 2-week-old infant, are currently trapped by flood waters at River Run Ranch.
All have made it to high ground and are safe, according to Snaza. The group is checking in regularly with the sheriff’s office in case they need to be evacuated.
Lewis County Fire District 14 in Randle on Friday began evacuating residents from the Cascade Peak RV Park, located along the Cowlitz River near Bennett Road in the Cora area, and houses along River Ranch Road near U.S. Highway 12, according to previous Chronicle reporting.
“This is the first time we’ve had flooding in a couple years,” said Snaza, adding he is proud of how well county, fire and emergency personnel have been working together on flood response.
“Everybody’s in sync and working together,” he said.
As of 4:30 p.m. on Friday, forecasts showed the Cowlitz River receding from the major flooding threshold at 22 feet to just below the 18 foot moderate flooding threshold by 4 p.m. on Saturday. By 4 p.m. on Sunday, the river level is expected to have receded below the 13.2 foot action threshold.