Freeway cleared near Bellingham; water levels recede in Whatcom county; flooding 'catastrophic' across Canadian border

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Flooding. Photo courtesy Whatcom county

WSDOT reports that the trees and dirt have been cleared from I-5 and it has been reopened. As of late Tuesday, water levels were receding throughout Whatcom County (Bellingham)

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies and search and rescue volunteers worked throughout the night and continued their efforts on Tuesday.

Approximately 100 rescue calls to move people due to the flooding in the north and northeast areas of Whatcom County were responded to on Tuesday. All calls were cleared by early evening.

As of Tuesday evening, roughly 300 people were housed in one of two shelters in the Lynden area.

Over 100 Ferndale residents worked for eight hours Tuesday placing over 3,000 sandbags to protect the levee. The voluntary evacuation for downtown Ferndale remained in place overnight.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office implored people not to ignore road closure signs.

Drivers have continued to ignore road-closed signs, cars have been stranded/stuck in floodwaters, and drivers have required rescue. This stretches the capacity of our first responders at a critical time.

Just across the Canadian border, the city of Abbotsford is warning of catastrophic flooding of a large low lying area known as Sumas Prairie, urging everyone to evacuate or at least let the police know where they are. It is an agricultural area with dairy cows and chickens and farmers had remained to take care of their stock.

A major pump station at Barrowstown, which keeps water from the Fraser River from flooding the Prairie in in danger of failing. Sumas Prairie extends into Washington. Authorities in the U.S. are monitoring the situation.


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