SR 4 reopened in Grays River Friday morning

SR 4 reopened in Grays River Friday morning

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State Route 4 between Grays River Street and Hull Creek reopened Friday morning after heavy rain walloped parts of Wahkiakum County on Thursday.

But the Grays River itself is not expected to drop below flood stage until Friday afternoon, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

SR 4 also was closed Thursday at Wainamo Road near milepost 10.

Seven other Wahkiakum County roads were closed due to flooding, and a non-blocking rockslide was reported on SR 4 about five miles west of Longview in the Stella area.

“It’s soupy out there,” Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Communications Office Vernon Barton said Thursday.

The following Wahkiakum County roads were closed due to flooding: Loop Road, Barr Road, Eden Valley Road, Altoona-Pillar Rock Road, West Valley Road, and North and South Satterlund Road.

There were a few landslides and power outages reported, Barton said, but all were resolved by mid-afternoon.

No road closures or power outages were reported in Cowlitz County Thursday afternoon.

The Grays River was cresting just short of 15 feet Thursday afternoon, a foot short of “major” flood stage and nearly three feet above “minor” flood stage.

Farmland and rural roads are vulnerable to flooding when the Grays gets to these levels.

Heavy rains have been falling in the Willapa Hills. About 3 inches fell on Abernathy Mountain west of Ryderwood in the 24-hour period ending at 3 p.m. Thursday, according to Weather Service data. More heavy rain is forecast through Saturday.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington through Thursday. However, the Grays is the only river in The Daily News circulation area expected to reach or exceed flood stage this week.

The Cowlitz River is forecast to remain at about 19 feet at Kelso for the next several days. That’s more than 2 feet below flood stage — 21.5 feet. Flood stage is when a river fills its natural banks, but well short of safe levee heights.

At Castle Rock, the Cowlitz is predicted to remain at about 41.5 feet for the next several days. That’s 6.5 feet below flood stage.

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