'I'm Worried': Rising Floodwaters Raise Alarm in Washington's Lewis County

Heavy rain and melted snow raised river levels and began causing major flooding in Lewis County, Washington, on Friday, January 7, prompting highway closures and warnings from officials that “much of Chehalise and Centralia” would be flooded.

Footage from Instagram user @PNWgirl3 taken a day earlier shows daytime and nighttime views of flooded roads in Chehalis and Napavine.

“I’m worried about our little community,” she wrote in the video caption. “We are suppose to reach record levels,” she added.

As the flooding worsened on Friday, authorities closed a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 5 though Thurston and Lewis counties, reports said.

The floods were expected to impact areas along the Skookumchuck River, Chehalis River, and Newaukum River into Saturday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

“The Chehalis River in Lewis County will cause […] near-record flooding, with deep and swift floodwaters inundating farms, residential and business areas, and roads on both sides of I-5,” the NWS said.

The Washington National Guard said Friday afternoon that its members were helping to fill sandbags in Centralia to bolster flood defenses. Credit: @pnwgirl3 via Storyful