Record rains are causing flooding and road closures in Thurston County through Wednesday

A deluge of rain caused the Chehalis River to rise above flood stage on Tuesday and resulted in several road closures in Thurston County.

According to the National Weather Service in Seattle, river levels exceeded the 130-foot minor flood stage Tuesday evening and reached nearly 130 feet around noon Wednesday, just below the moderate flood stage.

Olympia received 2.96 inches of rain between Monday and Tuesday evenings, a new record, according to the NWS. That total contributed to the 3.77 inches of rain that fell between Friday and Monday evenings. Heavy rains are lashing Western Washington as a Pineapple Express, or atmospheric river, stalls over the region.

So far, 6.73 inches of rain has fallen in the five full days of December. According to U.S. climate data, Olympia typically receives 8 to 8 inches of rain during the entire month of December.

The NWS reported persistent flooding in much of Western Washington Wednesday morning, but rivers were generally receding. Additional rain was expected on Wednesday and Thursday, but the NWS says this should not cause river levels to rise.

Still, the NWS advised that a flood watch remained in effect until early Thursday morning. Although the heaviest rainfall has passed, the forecast indicates that floodwaters may continue to flow down drains.

Thurston County officials closed several roads due to flooding, but some reopened Wednesday afternoon. None of the closures had estimated reopening times as of Wednesday afternoon. Roads that remained closed were:

Delphi Road Southwest was closed west of Black Lake from 62nd Avenue to McKenzie Road and reopened about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Lemon Road Northeast was closed south of the Woodard Bay Conservation Area from 46th Avenue to Woodard Bay Road and reopened about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Updates on travel impacts and concerns in Thurston County can be found on the county’s website.

In Lewis County, WSDOT sent out an alert that flooding had closed both directions of US Highway 12 between Chilcoat Avenue (milepost 115) and Kehoe Road (milepost 116) until further notice. Maintenance crews were on scene as of 8:30 a.m., but there is no estimated time for the highway to reopen.

Travelers needing access on both sides of the closure can take a signed detour via Chilcoat Avenue, Silverbrook Road to Kehoe Avenue and back to US 12.

Both directions of State Route 131 between mileposts 0.4-2.0, near US 12, in Lewis County are also closed due to flooding.