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Posts in category floods

Approaching Storms – What You Need to Know

We are expecting the arrival of a one, two punch with two  storms bringing heavy winds and heavy rain.  The first storm is expected to hit Thursday and the second storm to hit Saturday.

Check back here for the latest updates.

**A Message from area Public Works**

High Winds and Heavy rain expected  –  The National Weather Service expects up to 4 inches of precipitation in the next five days.   Below are some items to consider:

  • Most of flooding we may see will be because of leaves clogging storm drains, not because of waterways surging over their banks.
  • Please DO NOT rake, sweep or blow your leaves onto roadways where they can clog storm drains, causing flooding and create driving hazards.
  • Clark County and and the City of Vancouver  offer coupons for free leaf disposal.  These are available on both agencies websites.
  • If you see an urgent problem, call 911.  If you see an issue that does not pose an imminent threat to public safety, call Clark County Public Works for incidents outside the City of Vancouver and other city limits.  (Those numbers are listed below.)
  • Clark County does have sand and sandbags available for emergency situations.  Please see locations below based on your location.
  • Report down trees by calling 360-397-2446.  Crews can use chain saws to cut up trees and limbs and clear obstructions.
  • The one exception is where power is involved.  Clark Public Utilities needs to respond to those incidents.

Current Weather Information

We rely on the National Weather Service to provide us with the most up to date forecasts and detailed weather information.  This information will be updated as weather changes.

National Weather Service Forecasting Office

Current Forecast for the Region 

General Flood Warning & Precautions

  • Turn around don’t drown! Just 12 inches of rushing water isdownload enough to wash away a small car.  NWS Turn Around Don’t Drown
  • Clear street drains in your neighborhood throughout the storm.  Cleaning them just once may not be enough as the rain may wash more leaves onto the drain. Clark County Residents should not try to clear storm drains on busy streets. Call Clark County Public Works at (360) 397-2446 to report clogged storm drains or flooding outside of city limits. 
  • Keep gutters clean, watch for drainage issues around your home
  • Tips from Clark County Public Works Before, During, and After A Flood

Sandbag Information

  • DO NOT call 9-1-1 to request sandbags or inquire about public sandbag locations
  • Most large hardware and home improvement stores carry material needed for sandbags
  • Some area Public Works agencies may provide public sandbag assembly areas:
  • Sandbags are available from Clark County Public Works (2 locations)
    • 78th St Operation Center 4700 N.E. 78th St.
    • 149th Street Operations Center 11608 NE 149th St.
    • Sandbag assembly required, remember to bring your own shovel
    • Do not reuse sandbags from previous flood
  • Sandbags are available to residents of the City Of Vancouver (2 locations)
    • In front of fence near the sign at the former Golden Skate site, 4915 E Fourth Plain Blvd
    • Near the driveway access at Vancouver Public Works’ East Operations site, 912 NE 192 Ave
    • For More information from Vancouver Public Works click here.
  • Sandbags are available for residents of Battle Ground (Self-serve)
    • Flex Use Building, 1308 SE Grace Ave
  • Sandbags are available to residents of Camas   (2 locations)
    • Operations Center 1620 SE 8th Ave
    • 4010 NW Astor Street near NW 38th Ave.
    • For More information on Sandbags in Camas click here.
  • Sandbags are available to residents of Ridgefield
    • Abrams Park  End of Division off of N 5th Ave.

    Sandbags are available to residents of Washougal  (3 locations)

    • 2300 block of North L Street
    • Silver Star Search & Rescue 13th & A Street
    • Public Works Operations 2201 C Street

Road Status: Closed or Restricted Roads

Information about flooded, impassable, or restricted roads will be posted here as information becomes available:

There are no current closures

Information Telephone Numbers & Links

Flood Watch for Clark County

The National Weather Service (NWS) Portland has issued a Flood Watch for our surrounding area, including Clark County which should last until sometime Monday.  A Watch means that there is potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

No major rivers in Clark County are forecasted to flood, according to the NWS.  Creeks, however may continue to cause difficulties, being at bank full and we already know that roadways are covered and are ponding.  See the current river forecasts here and click on the rivers that you are interested in viewing.  (Again, all of our rivers are currently listed as “green”, no flooding.)

Heaviest Rain still coming (starting as early as late Sunday afternoon – late evening).  In speaking with the NWS about our county, they anticipate that we will have an even heavier period of rain that will last from 12-18 hours that is of the most concern.  This will start Sunday, maybe as early as late afternoon to early evening, but also has the possibility of not starting till just before midnight Sunday evening.  We could see another 1-2 inches of rain in most of the county, with 2-4 inches in the foothills and over 4 inches in the higher ground areas.  We will hopefully be out of this concern sometime Monday. 

Please slow down and drive safe during these very rainy periods. 

More Rain, But Flood Watch Ends (For Now)

Heavy rain has stopped for today, but continues the rest of the week. The Flood Watch for Clark County was cancelled at Noon Monday, but the river remain high. Further information can be found at:

With last weeks rain and low level snow and the current snow packs, the NWS is monitoring the situation very carefully.

Even though we may escape river flooding here, many areas to the south and to the west (coastal) are experiencing some, with many of those rivers forecast for bank full or flood stage. For those of you traveling for spring break, please take extra caution in the mountains, where some avalanche danger has increased, and there is always potential for landslides with this much moisture. Check out your travel area and the rivers affecting your vacation destinations by monitoring the NWS website and local authorities.

Flood Fighting with Sandbags on November 1

On Tuesday, November 1, there will be two unique opportunities to learn or refresh your skills on being prepared to actively fight floods here in Clark County.

Les Miller, from the Army Corps of Engineers, will be providing classroom and hands-on instruction on how to fill, haul and properly place sandbags. Classes will be held from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at the Clark County Public Works facility at 4700 NE 78th ST, Vancouver, WA 98665.

This class is good for any community member, volunteer or first responder. If you plan to attend this class, we encourage you to dress in appropriate clothing for the weather, including work gloves and good footwear as you will be outside for portions of this class. It is also helpful to bring your own shovel. This event will be held RAIN or SHINE and there is no need to pre-register. Just show up and learn how to help yourself or help someone else.

Flood Warning continues on Columbia River @ Vancouver

The National Weather Service (NWS) Portland reports that the Flood Warning is continuing on the Columbia River at Vancouver. As of Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 2 pm, the river is at 16.5 feet (16 feet is Flood Stage). Minor flooding is expected to continue through Saturday, forecasting to be between 16.3 and 16.6 feet.

The good news is that the river is expected to drop below flood stage later Saturday night (June 18) or Sunday (June 19). You can see the latest river stages and forecasts @

Please remember that the river is high, fast, still full of dangerous debris and very cold. Review some of the other posts written on this blog within the last five weeks to get more information about the inconveniences and damage impacts that this flooding has caused.

Current Clark County, WA Road Closures

To see the most up-to-date Clark County, Washington road closures, click here. Click on the Legend tab once the web map is opened to see the type of road closure / classification.

CRESA Emergency Operations Center ACTIVATED

The CRESA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated at noon today (Jan 7, 2009). Many government jurisdictions and community agencies within Clark County, Washington are now coordinating responses to current flooding and landslide issues throughout Clark County.

Members of the public should note the following resource numbers and/or websites:

  • Emergency Requests, call “9-1-1” for life threatening problems or injury.
  • Non-Emergency Requests, call “2-1-1” (link to 2-1-1)
  • Traffic and Weather Information, call “5-1-1” or 1-800-695-7623 (ROAD) (link to 5-1-1)
  • Report Power Outages, call (360) 992-8000 (link to Clark Public Utilitites).
  • Report Gas Line Leaks / Problems, call (800) 882-3377. Do not email about gas leaks. (link to NW Natural).
  • Document Damage to Home & Property. If your home or property has been damaged due to floods, landslides or other weather-related events — photographs the damage, but only if you are able to safely do so!!! Photographic documentation can be valuable proof to show damages later on.

Flooding: Are You Ready?

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for SW Washington for Tuesday night (1/6/09) through Friday (1/9/09). With high freezing levels and significant rain, there could be some localized flooding in our near future.

Here are some preparedness considerations to consider during a flood:

  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

If you live in a location prone to flooding and decide to evacuate your home, you should do the following:

  • Secure your home.
  • If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture.
  • Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances. Remember: Never touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.

Consider today….Are You Ready for Flooding?

Clark County Public Works and City of Vancouver Public Works have both issued information on their websites regarding their preparedness activities.

The following 5-minute documentary regarding the 1996 flood from Clark-Vancouver Television is also posted here to refresh our collective memory.

Take care and prepare yourselves for the rain!

Raindrops on Roses

While our exciting snowfall is coming to an end, we will still be seeing moisture fall from the sky in our typical northwest fashion, rain! Earlier today in a press conference, Portland’s Mayor Elect Sam Adams was hoisting a snow shovel and asking citizens to check on their local storm drains. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll already know why. Storm drain blockage can result in urban flooding as the water builds up quickly over streets and roadways.

As for streams and rivers here in Clark County, we’ll be watching the Washougal, Salmon Creek and Lewis Rivers as they tend to be the first ones to exhibit any signs of flooding in our local area. The National River Forecast Center tracks a number of river levels and can be checked online at anytime.

So, as the snow melts and the face of the hazard changes to our familiar friend, consider what you can do to remain prepared:

  • Check the storm drains on your street for any blockages that could be easily removed
  • Keep a mindful eye on the weather, dressing properly in case you are stuck outside for longer than you anticipate.
  • If you encounter high water, DO NOT try to drive through it.

Preparing for the Snow Melt

The approaching rains and warmer temperatures, expected to last through the weekend, will bring their own problems, especially wherever melting snow and ice cannot flow quickly into storm drains. It’s likely to bring some street ponding as storm sewer openings are plugged up with snow and ice.

Citizens are encouraged to clear storm drains in their neighborhoods to minimize local flooding problems from the run-off. Residents are asked to clear any blocked storm drains they see so the rain and melt water have somewhere to go.

“Ice dams” may have formed in roof gutters and down spouts, causing water to back up through roofs and seep into homes and commercial buildings, causing damage that necessitates costly repairs. If it’s not cleared off roofs, snow acts as a sponge, absorbing any additional sleet and rain, adding stress to structures. Flat, commercial roofs are most susceptible if they are not draining properly.

We are offering the following suggestions to minimize the risk of overstressing a building roof due to accumulated or drifting snow:

  • Be on the alert for large accumulating snow build-up or snowdrifts on your roof.
  • If roof snow can be removed, do so with caution. Use plastic shovels or brooms rather than metal shovels. Try to avoid working from ladders as ladder rungs tend to ice up. Flat roofs can be shoveled clear, but only if it is determined that the roof is safe to stand upon. Exercise care when on the roof to avoid potentially dangerous falls.
  • Flat roof drainage systems should be kept clear to minimize the risk of excess roof ponding in the event of subsequent heavy rainfall or melting.
  • Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean that ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.

All of the mentioned actions should only be performed by able-bodied adults since the snow is heavy and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery. Protective headgear and eye protection are recommended.

Thanks to our response partners in Washington County for providing this guidance!

January 2018
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