Forecasters warn of possible flooding issues in the local area

After a bout of severe weather that included high winds, snow and freezing rain, forecasters are now predicting a warm up and the possibility of flooding this week.

The Portland office of the National Weather Service issued flood watch warnings through today.

The warmer temperatures in the 40s in the coming days will cause snow and ice to melt rapidly. Combined with rain showers this will likely introduce flooding as local river and creek levels rise.

NWS forecasters are calling for 1.5 to 3 inches of rain in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.

“Street flooding is possible in urban areas where ice and snow may block storm drains,” the flood watch stated.

Local residents can help by clearing those storm drains of ice, snow and debris.

During the severe weather event that pummeled the Portland and Vancouver metro areas during recent weeks, local schools have been closed for an unprecedented number of days.

Since early December, Washougal students have missed 10 days of school, while Camas has been closed for a total of for nine days. Officials are currently working on a plan to address how students will make those days up.

Although conditions started to improve in the local area on Wednesday, ice had a major impact on areas east of Washougal and into the Columbia River Gorge.

Highway 14 was closed to traffic between Evergreen Boulevard, near Washougal, and the Hood River Bridge, near White Salmon.

According to Washington State Department of Transportation officials, this area has been impacted by snow slides and falling trees.

The closure was instituted Wednesday morning, just after 5 a.m. WSDOT has given no estimate for when this stretch of roadway might reopen.