Storm clean up, damage assessment and repairs begin

Most Bellingham streets reopened, Iowa Street and Squalicum Parkway remain closed

November 16, 2021 - by Janice Keller, Communications Director

City of Bellingham officials are beginning clean-up, damage assessment and repair efforts today (Tuesday, November 16, 2021) in the wake of flooding, downed trees and other damage caused by excessive rain and wind storms in recent days.

Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said the extent of damage is not yet known as City officials begin tallying damage to City property and facilities, along with understanding the extent of damage to private property.

“Thank you to our public safety first responders, Public Works and Parks crews, and staff throughout the City who responded to emergency calls and impacts of this historic weather event. Our thanks also to community members who heeded our warnings, avoided dangerous circumstances, and helped each other,” Fleetwood said. “Many Bellingham residences, businesses and other properties were damaged by this storm and we are grateful no lives were lost to flooding or falling debris. Our thoughts are with our community members and those in north Whatcom County communities whose experiences have been devastating.”

Bellingham Public Works Director Eric Johnston said that as of late morning on Tuesday, November 16, most City streets had reopened for use. The City’s Road Closure Information page will be updated as needed until all roads are safe for travel.

“City crews worked through the night to clear and open City streets,” Johnston said. “As the roads start to clear and the weather dries up, we are preparing to respond to possible cold weather and low overnight temperatures. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should be alert to changing conditions and the potential for the first freezing weather of the season.”

Johnston said Squalicum Parkway and Iowa Street at I-5 remains closed as crews work to clear debris and water. The bridges at James Street and Meador will remain closed until water levels in Whatcom Creek drop, to allow for safety inspections.

Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department Director Nicole Oliver said her department has begun clean-up and damage assessment of City parks and trails.

“City parks and trails are still saturated, with trails near creeks and streams remaining unstable or impassable,” she said. “Crews are working to clear downed branches and clean out storm drains. Squalicum Creek Park remains closed while crews work to restore access to Squalicum Parkway.”

City officials remind community members to follow safety precautions, including obeying street and park closure signs and not driving around closure barricades, avoiding floodwaters that may be contaminated, and following other safety tips listed below.


  • Call 911 for flood-related emergencies.
  • To report flooding, downed trees, or other weather-related issues in Bellingham streets, please use SeeClickFix or phone (360) 778-7700.
  • Additional updates will be shared as new information becomes available, via news releases and City social media sites.

Safety tips

  • Avoid unnecessary trips during inclement weather.
  • 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.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater and standing water, which may be contaminated.
  • 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.
  • Stay away from trail bridges crossing creeks or streams, as they could be undermined by floodwaters.

Media Contact

Amy Cloud, Public Information Officer
City of Bellingham

Janice Keller, Communications Director
City of Bellingham

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