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Flood watch: A month’s worth of rain in four days

River measuring station on the Nooksack River in Ferndale Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.
River measuring station on the Nooksack River in Ferndale Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Another flood watch was issued for Whatcom County this weekend as heavy rain continues to douse the region, dumping a typical month’s worth of rain on Bellingham in just four days.

A total of 1.10 inches of rain fell Thursday at Bellingham International Airport, a day after 1.44 inches fell – the wettest Oct. 18 on record. A total of 3.29 inches of rain has fallen since Monday, and a typical October in Bellingham receives 3.68 inches, according to National Weather Service records.

A flood watch is in effect from 5 p.m. Saturday until 5 p.m. Sunday for the Puget Sound region. Heaviest rain was expected closer to Seattle.

“Heavy rain is forecast to fall Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon,” the weather service said in a statement. “The period of heaviest rain will be Saturday night with the focus of rainfall in the Cascades from about Stevens Pass southward. Less rain is forecast for the North Cascades and Olympics. There is still a chance the heavy rain could spread to the North Cascades and Olympics.”

Whatcom County gets hit for a second day with high winds and rain, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

Rain is forecast for Whatcom County through Sunday night, with about an inch of new rain possible through Sunday.

Whatcom County rivers and streams have been running high in the wake of recent rains, according to U.S. Geological Survey instruments.

Gage height on the Nooksack River at the Ferndale measuring station rose to nearly 16 feet Thursday, with the flood stage at 16 feet. By Friday morning, the river was at 10 feet and rising slowly.

Farther upstream near Nugents Corner, the Nooksack was at 142 feet, with the flood stage at 146.5 feet. Gage height topped 145 feet as the river crested early Thursday, but it didn’t reach flood stage, USGS records said.

On the Nooksack’s south forth at the Saxon Bridge, gage height was 5 feet on Friday morning, with flood stage at 8 feet. The south fork crested slightly above 8 feet at that location Wednesday and receded to 4 feet, but gage height has been climbing since Thursday afternoon.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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