MONTESANO, Wash. – The county endured a long lasting, powerful wind and rain event last night. Top winds were 68 mph at Bowerman field. Many trees and power lines fell, accounting for over 18,000 PUD customers losing power for a few hours during the event. The PUD did a tremendous job restoring power to all but a handful of customers as of this morning.
Many small streams and rivers spilled over their banks last night, but most have receded. There is still a chance of small stream flooding through Friday.
The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle has issued the following information:
High winds are expected to impact the County on Thanksgiving Day. A High Wind Watch will go into effect late tonight into Thursday Afternoon. Sustained winds of 42-45 mph with gusts of 60 mph are predicted. This event is not expected to be as long lasting or as powerful as the event last night, but still very strong. The event will peak near noon and last into the early afternoon. Prepare for possible power outages during the event.
A Flood Watch remains in effect. A Flood Watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding but flooding is not imminent or occurring.
An Urban & Small Stream Flood Advisory is in effect for the entire County. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on small creeks and streams. There will also be ponding of water in urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other poorly drained areas and low lying spots. Do not underestimate the power of flood waters. Standing water just a few inches deep can cause loss of control of a vehicle. Rapidly moving water only a few inches deep can quickly carry away your vehicle.
All rivers in Western Washington are expected to rise from the continued rainfall into this weekend. Flooding may become an issue on many rivers and streams. At this time, the Chehalis River is forecast to reach flood stage (21’) @ 10pm tonight. It is forecast to crest at 21.73 feet @ 10am Thursday and recede below flood stage Friday morning. Rain will continue into the holiday weekend. Conditions can change quickly, possibly raising the river to moderate flood levels.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is urging residents in flood prone areas to prepare for possible flooding on all rivers in the County. Please monitor your television and radio for information about the approaching storms.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management will be in direct contact with the National Weather Service to provide alerting to our citizens as conditions change.