Submitted by Thurston County Board of County Commissioners
Thurston County Emergency Management is urging residents – especially those living east of Durgin Road, Kuhlman Road, and Nisqually Cut-Off Road – to evacuate the area by 4:00 p.m. today due to expected flooding caused by an increase in the amount of water released from the LaGrande Dam. The peak height of the river is expected between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. today. The evacuation advisory could last until Saturday, February 8.
A shelter has been established by the American Red Cross at the Gwinwood Camp and Conference Center (6015 30th Ave. SE Lacey, WA 98503) for those effected by the evacuation advisory. The shelter will open today at about 4 p.m. and is pet friendly and accessible for individuals with disabilities. Pets coming into the shelter must be crated and pet owners are encouraged to bring supplies such as food and water to care for them.
The impacts of this incident include possible road closures and structure flooding. Currently, 6th Ave SE & Riverside Dr. SE are closed due to water over the roadway. The Mckenna Bridge in Yelm is still open and there is no plan to close the bridge at this time. Information on road closures in the county are available at: https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks/travelImpacts.html.
The North Thurston School District has informed parents and guardians that they will not be dropping off students in the affected areas. Parents with students in the North Thurston School District who live in the affected areas must pick up their students from school.
This incident is fluid and additional information will be shared through the county’s social media channels as it becomes available. Residents are encouraged to follow Thurston County Emergency Management social media channels for regular updates:
Thurston County Sheriff’s Deputies are currently in the area going door-to-door to inform people of the evacuation advisory. Riverside residents of the Nisqually Pines are urged to keep a watchful eye on the river and be prepared to evacuate on short notice, but are not under an evacuation advisory at this time. Residents can monitor river levels at: www.thurstoncountywa.gov/em/pages/rivers-graphs.aspx.
County residents were notified of the evacuation advisory today at around 9:30 a.m. through the Thurston County Alert System. The notification stated that Tacoma Power will begin releasing 17,000 cubic ft. of water per second by 1:00 p.m. today from the LaGrande Dam to manage water levels due to significant water flow.
To receive critical countywide TCALERT messages like this, residents can sign-up at: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/em/Pages/ei-alert.aspx.
For more information on preparedness and having a grab and go kit, visit: https://www.thurstoncountywa.gov/em/Pages/prep-personal.aspx. Don’t forget to prepare to take your household pets with you.