Heavy rains cause local flooding issues

National Weather Service warnings continue through Thursday

Severe weather updates

The cities of Camas and Washougal are posting severe weather updates on its websites, as well as through social media.

CAMAS

Website: www.cityofcamas.us

Twitter: @CityofCamas

Facebook: Search City of Camas

WASHOUGAL

Website: www.cityofwashougal.us

Twitter: @WashougalGov

Facebook: Search City of Washougal

A major weather system dropped more than 2 inches of rain in the area on Monday, and that level of precipitation is expected to continue starting again Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory that will continue through 4 a.m. Wednesday. Winds are expected to be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph. A flood watch advisory will run through Thursday.

“Landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event,” reads the advisory. “There have already been serious rock slides and landslides this week, and soils are very saturated. People, structures and roads located below steep slopes, in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides.”

On Sunday and Monday, the National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood warning for Clark and Skamania counties, in addition to other surrounding areas in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

“We’ve been dealing with calls all day long,” Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall told the City Council Monday night, describing the severe weather event as similar to the one that occurred Oct. 31. “Crews were out in earnest, trying to keep up with things.”

Several streets had to be closed Monday due to flooding issues including Northwest Brady Road, from 16th Avenue to Pacific Rim Boulevard, and Northwest Lacamas Drive at the south end of El Rey Drive. By Monday evening, both sections had re-opened.

Lacamas Lane, between Northwest 44th Avenue and Lake Road, was also closed Monday after trees fell and small landslides occurred. As of early Tuesday morning, it remained closed.

The National Weather Service warning cautioned drivers against attempting to navigate high water areas.

“Do not attempt to travel across flooded roads, find alternate routes,” the flood watch states. “It takes only a few inches of swiftly flowing water to carry vehicles away.”

Citizens in Camas and Washougal have access to sandbagging locations.

In Camas, sand and bags are available at the Operations Center, 1620 S.E. Eighth Ave., and at 4010 N.W. Astor St., near Northwest 38th Avenue.

To report localized flooding, contact the Public Works Operations Department, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 817-1563, press 1. For after-hours emergencies, call (360) 737-0592.

In Washougal, bags and sand can be found at the 2300 block of North “L” Street; Silver Star Search and Rescue, 1220 “A” Street; and the Public Works Operations Center, 2201 “C” St.

To report flooding emergencies in Washougal, contact the Operations Center Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., at 835-2662 (press 1 for after-hours).

City officials ask that citizens do what they can to safely keep leaves and debris from blocking storm drains.

“If water is pooling around a storm drain and beginning to cause localized flooding, provided conditions are safe, residents may rake leaves and debris from around drains to allow free water flow,” states information provided on the city of Camas website. “While public works maintenance crews do respond to calls for assistance, during heavy rains they may not be able to get to each storm drain as quickly as desired.”

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