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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 6, 2022
​Ben Miller-Todd, Interim Assistant Director, Emergency Services, (360) 522-2220 or ben.miller-todd@co.thurston.wa.us

Expect Major Flooding Along South Thurston County Rivers
Chehalis, Deschutes, and Skookumchuck Rivers impacted

OLYMPIA – Thurston County Emergency Management (TCEM) is notifying residents to expect flooding at local rivers. 

Chehalis River: TCEM has issued Level 2 Evacuation Order for the Chehalis River in Thurston County. Residents living near the Chehalis River should begin preparing for localized flooding now and be prepared to evacuate the area when advised by law enforcement. Forecasts predict the Chehalis River to reach flood stage Thursday afternoon through Sunday.

The Chehalis River will likely cause major flooding, inundating roads and farmlands in the Independence Valley. Deep and swift flood waters will cover SR-12 and James, Independence, and Moon Roads. Flood waters will cover many roads. If a road is flooded, drivers should use caution and not drive on flooded roads. 

Skookumchuck River: The Skookumchuck River is expected to reach major flooding. The river is expected to rise above flood stage this afternoon to a crest of 215.3 feet late tomorrow morning. It will then fall below flood stage early Saturday afternoon.

Deschutes River: The Deschutes River will also reach minor flood stage level and no evacuations are expected to be ordered. 

Thurston County Emergency Management’s Emergency Coordination Center is activated. You can reach the call center at 360-867-2800. Staff are coordinating with the American Red Cross to establish shelter locations, as needed.

Thurston Community Alert (TC Alert) is the county’s official emergency alert system and can help keep you informed of hazardous conditions in your area, including specific hazards that require action – such as a boil water notice or evacuation order. You can learn more and sign up for TC Alert today at: www.tcalert.org. Those who sign up for TC Alert have the option to receive information on wireless device, by email, by landline telephone, or by all three. 

Residents can receive specific notifications based on where they live, or what types of information they are interested in. Currently, subscribers can opt-in to river notifications as well as local alerts from public safety agencies warning of life-threatening events and emergencies.

Call Thurston County Public Works at (360) 867-2300 to report flooded roads during regular business hours. After hours, weekend and holiday road reports should be directed to TCOMM Dispatch at (360) 704-2740. Residents are urged to only use 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies. River conditions can change rapidly, so residents should stay tuned to the National Weather Service website, NOAA weather radio, local news, and the Thurston County website for updates. 

You can visit the county’s Flood Information webpage to find sandbag locations, road updates and traffic impacts, monitor river levels, and sign up for Thurston Community Alert. Sandbags can act as a barrier to divert moving water around, instead of through, buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal but is satisfactory for use in most situations.

You can follow Thurston County Emergency Management on social media for regular updates:


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3