Flood warning issued for Columbia River from Vancouver to Longview
According to the National Weather Service, unusually heavy rains this week and snowmelt have pushed the Columbia River to near flood levels from Vancouver to Longview.
Forecasters issued a flood watch early Sunday morning for areas along the Columbia in the greater Vancouver and Portland metro areas, as well as along the Lower Columbia Corridor and Interstate 5 in Cowlitz County. .
By noon Sunday, the river had risen to 15.56 feet in Vancouver and covered part of the Waterfront Renaissance Trail in Vancouver, blocking the path east of where it splits from Southeast Columbia Way.
The rise in river levels follows a period of unusually wet weather fed by an atmospheric river of subtropical moisture, which brought 1.44 inches of rain to Vancouver’s Pearson field over a 48-hour period ending Saturday evening .
The flood level in Vancouver is 16 feet, and National Weather Service forecasters say river levels will approach that level repeatedly through late Wednesday morning.
At 16 feet, minor flooding occurs, affecting islands and low-lying areas, with minor impacts to parks or trails along the river, according to the National Weather Service.
If predictions hold true, it will be Columbia’s highest ridge since March 2017, when the river level reached 17.43 feet, according to National Weather Service data.
Forecasters advised residents and people with interests near the river to watch for rising waters and be prepared for possible flood warnings.