SUMAS, Wash. — Whatcom County issued an Emergency Proclamation as more flooding is expected this weekend when a new series of Atmospheric Rivers makes landfall on western Washington.
The communities of Everson, Sumas, Nooksack and Marietta, in particular, are being urged to prepare for rising floodwater in the midst of recovering from the most recent round of flooding.
At the Everson city shops, in the 600 block of Robinson Street, the Seattle District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brought in an automatic sandbag filling machine to help speed sandbag production.
“I’d rather get ahead of the game versus behind the eight ball,” said Shane Thompson who lives between Everson and Sumas. He was picking up sandbags to help raise the height of an existing wall of sandbags that so far succeeded in keeping property dry but said the ground was so saturated a higher wall was warranted.
The county’s Division of Emergency Management under the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said it expected the coming flooding to be similar to the 2020 Super Bowl Flood, with many of the same areas impacted.
Whatcom County tweeted that damage to levee systems from previous storms may result in greater impacts to floodplain areas than are typical at forecasted river levels.
The Washington National Guard is in Whatcom County to assist local agencies with flood preparations, sandbagging, transportation of supplies and providing support to Nooksack, Sumas and Everson.
Whatcom County also recently waived permit fees for emergency building repairs due to the extensive damage from the last round of floods.
“Many families, farms and businesses have been devastated by the floods. It’s important to make the rebuilding process as efficient as possible, and we want to help those who have been displaced get back into their homes as quickly and safely as possible,” said County Executive Satpal Sidhu. “Waiving these fees, which County Council has actively supported, is just one small thing that we can do assist the recovery.”