The National Weather Service (NWS) had the Skookumchuck River near Bucoda forecast to reach 215.26 feet late Friday morning, less than a foot under its historic peak at 216 feet in 2009.
At 215 feet, "the Skookumchuck River in Thurston County will cause major flooding in the Bucoda area, with deep and swift flood waters inundating residential and business areas and numerous roads. Flooding will occur all along the river including headwaters, tributaries and other streams within and near the Skookumchuck River Basin,” stated an NWS report on Thursday morning.
The river is expected to fall below the flood stage early Saturday afternoon.
Late Thursday morning, the river near Bucoda was just about to reach the “action stage” of 209.6 feet.
Bucoda Mayor Steven Purcell said the city had set up a sandbagging station for businesses and residents at the town shop yard at the north end of town at 605 N. Main St.
“There is no typical flooding pattern in town,” Purcell said. “The south end of town is usually the hardest hit, there are a few residences that will get some … They quite often get water up to their back fence.”
As the river climbs above the action stage, the fire station may be transformed into an “emergency action center,” Purcell said, because it has an automatic generator.
Downriver in Centralia, the river is expected to reach a historic high.
— Isabel Vander Stoep, email@example.com