Flooding creates state of emergency in the Northwest

November 16, 2021

Land Line Staff


Days of heavy wind and rain has created a dire situation in northern Washington State.

Search and rescue missions in Whatcom County were being conducted, and emergency shelters were organized as recently as Monday night, while mudslides have closed Interstate 5, along with numerous other roadways, further compounding the situation.

“I am extremely proud of our deputies, along with members from other agencies and search and rescue volunteers who continue to work long hours to rescue our community members,” Whatcom County Sheriff, Bill Elfo, said in a sheriff’s office news release.

As the situation remains dangerous with flooding still a major concern, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a severe weather state of emergency in 14 counties due to the extensive flooding, road closures, power outages and other damages.

Monday also saw the closure of the U.S. 101 Elwha River Bridge in Clallam County because of high flood waters. Before it’s reopened, the Washington State Department of Transportation must first determine if flood water and debris have eroded the support structure, said a WSDOT news release.


Residents near the Skagit River, which reached 32 feet on Monday, were urged to take action through a city of Mount Vernon news release. A new flood stage record is expected on Tuesday, said the National River Forecast Center.

Latest information

Several flood warnings remain in effect as of Nov. 16 throughout northwest Washington, and PowerOutage.US was reporting nearly 46,000 customers were without electricity as of midday.

However, some good news came with the opening just before 5 a.m. on Tuesday of the southbound lanes of I-5 at Bellingham, Wash.

A map of the latest road conditions and closures can be found on the WSDOT website.

Land Line will continue to update this situation as information becomes available. LL