Heavy rains in the Cascades and in the Olympics has the Weather Service putting out Flood Warnings and Watches, covering much of the western part of the state. There’s now a Flood Warning up on the Cowlitz River near Randle, continuing through Friday afternoon. At 3:15 this morning, the Cowlitz was running at 15.8 feet in Randle, and the flood stage is 18 feet. They expect the river to rise to flood stage around 8 am today, and then it should crest at about 19.6 feet around 10 pm tomorrow night before dropping again on Friday morning. They say minor flooding is expected in the Randle area, going downstream to Riffe Lake.
There’s also a Flood Warning up on the Grays River near Rosburg, which is already above flood stage. At 11 pm last night, the Grays River was at 15.3 feet in Rosburg, while the flood stage is 12 feet. Observers say that the river crested around midnight, but it will remain above flood stage through tomorrow morning. At this level, widespread lowland flooding is expected in that area, with numerous flooded roads near Rosburg and Ocean Beach Highway.
The Flood Watch also remains in effect for Lewis County, Grays Harbor County and much of western and northwestern Washington. Snow levels are up around 9,000 feet, as up to five inches of rain has already fallen on the Olympics. Another system is expected tonight and tomorrow, bringing another 1 to 4 inches of rain to the peninsula. They say some flooding is possible, but it should be minor. The Weather Service says this rain coming in so quickly could lead to an increased risk of landslides all across Western Washington.