City staff are responding to weather-related needs and safety concerns as excessive rain and wind causes flooding, downed trees, and other impacts citywide. Community members are urged to avoid floodwaters, obey street closure signs, and follow other safety tips.
Record-setting rainfall and windy conditions are causing impacts citywide and conditions are expected to continue to be difficult. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for our region, including Bellingham, effective through 7 p.m. tonight (Monday, Nov. 15, 2021). See details on the National Weather Service website.
City crews from multiple departments have been responding since the weekend including barricading flooded streets, clearing blocked storm drains, monitoring parks, sewer services, lake and stream levels, and removing downed trees from parks, trails and roadways.
Lake Whatcom is at its usual high-level mark (314.5 feet above sea level) and continuing to rise, Public Works Director Eric Johnston said. The City’s control dams are fully open, and lake-fed ponds and creeks are filling and flooding.
Johnston said in the past 36 hours, Bellingham has received 4.5 inches of rain and the ground and creeks are unable to absorb that much water. All local creeks are at extremely high levels and most are overflowing their banks. For example, lower Squalicum Creek is flooding the entire road valley near Squalicum Creek Park. Lake Whatcom is continuing to rise and will likely do so for several days, meaning that Whatcom Creek will be running very high for the next few days.
Due to the magnitude of this weather emergency and the volume of calls coming in, the City is not able respond to individual concerns about flooding on private property or to provide sandbags for private property owners. Sandbags should be available at hardware or construction supply stores and sand may be purchased at gravel companies.
- Call 911 for flood-related emergencies.
- To report flooding or downed trees on Bellingham streets, please utilize SeeClickFix or phone (360) 778-7700.
- Additional updates will be shared as new information becomes available, via news releases and City social media sites.
- Avoid unnecessary trips.
- Obey street closure signs and do not drive around barricades.
- Do not enter streets or intersections if you see water over the road, even if the street is not signed or barricaded.
- Stay away from wooded areas, such as parks and trails, due to high winds that will continue to topple trees and drop branches.
- Stay away from flooded creeks, as the water is rushing swiftly and currents are extremely strong.