Many Whatcom roads remain closed after soaking rains, Slater reopens Saturday

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The rains in Whatcom County have stopped ... at least until Friday night ... and the National Weather Service has canceled the flood watch for the Nooksack River. But a number of Whatcom County roadways remain closed.

The Sumas border crossing opened before 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, to all vehicles both northbound and southbound, except for semi-trucks traveling southbound into the U.S., according to a tweet from the Washington State Department of Transportation

State Route 9 from Vancouver Street to the U.S.-Canadian border in Sumas reopened Wednesday, Dec. 1. State Route 9 had been closed since Nov. 17 due to recent flooding in the area.

State Route 9 remains closed between the Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) and East Pole Road (State Route 544), WSDOT reported, as crews are working to repair the roadway that was damaged in the first flood.

The Interstate 5 off-ramp at Iowa Street in Bellingham reopened Thursday afternoon, Dec. 2.

WSDOT’s Travel Center Thursday also shows other highways in the area continue to be affected by water over the freeway in the following locations:

Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) at Truck Road (milepost 15).

Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) at Boulder Creek Road (milepost 28).

Badger Road (State Route 546) at Vinup Road (milepost 3).

Badger Road (State Route 546) at Van Buren Road (milepost 7).

The Reese Hill Road (State Route 547) south of Bishop Road (milepost 8) to Telegraph Road (milepost 9) opened Friday morning, Dec. 3.

Nooksack Road (State Route 9) just north of Hughes Road (milepost 90) was also opened Friday.

Whatcom County road closures

Whatcom County has closed North Fork Road to all traffic except local traffic after pictures from the area on social media show the road has fallen into the North Fork of the Nooksack River.

The road is closed to all by local access two miles north of Mosquito Lake Road, according to a release from the county Wednesday, Nov. 1. Violators who drive on the road will be subject to a $500 fine.

As of 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Dc. 4, Whatcom County Public Works was reporting the following road closures:

Bayon Road off Marine Drive.

Beach Avenue at Cedar.

Birch Bay Lynden Road east of Ham Road.

Drayton Harbor Road at Harborview.

Ferndale Road from Slater to Marine Drive.

Flynn Road at River Road.

Garrison Road at Lindsay Road and Highway 9.

Gilles Road south of Alm Road.

Goodwin Road north of Massey Road.

Goshen Road west of Roberts Road.

Harksell Road at Dahlberg Road.

Lampman Road east of Haxton Way.

Lindsay Road between Trapline and Van Buren.

Lummi Shore Drive south of Scott Road.

Marine Drive from Hoff Road to Lummi Shore Drive.

Marshall Hill Road east of Cronk Road.

Mosquito Lake Road at Porter Creek Bridge.

Nolte Road at Van Dyk Road.

Northwood Road south of the Lynden city limits.

North Fork Road in the 5800 block (with bypass road).

North Telegraph from Deter Road to Lindsay Road.

Oat Coles Road at Mack Road.

River Road at Flynn Road.

Silver Lake Road in the 9600 block.

South Church Road south of Ulrich Road.

South Pass Road east of North Pass Road.

Sunset Avenue from Graveline Road to PAC Highway.

Timon Road from Trapline Road to Northwood Road.

A small landslide caused a trees to fall across northbound lanes of Interstate 5 south of Bellingham on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.
A small landslide caused a trees to fall across northbound lanes of Interstate 5 south of Bellingham on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.

I-5 reopens after landslide

It took nearly 24 hours, but a small landslide that restricted traffic into Bellingham along northbound Interstate 5 has been cleared and the freeway is once again open.

Washington State Trooper Rocky Oliphant first tweeted at 3:33 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, about the landslide, which caused a large tree to fall across northbound lanes near the Nulle Road exit (milepost 245).

Northbound traffic was still able to use the left shoulder and part of the left lane to work around the slide area, Oliphant tweeted.

The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted that the right lane would remain closed overnight, and as of Monday morning, the lane remained closed.

“WSDOT Maintenance Crews are currently cleaning up the most recent landslide,” WSDOT spokesperson Meggan Carrigg Davidson told The Bellingham Herald Monday. “We are hoping to have the right northbound lane open this evening.”

At 3:26 p.m. Monday, WSDOT tweeted that the incident had been cleared and the interstate was fully open. A follow up tweet said that maintenance crews would return to repair the guardrail at a later date.

According to a South Whatcom Fire Authority Facebook post Sunday evening, the slide had significant impacts on traffic in the area.

“Due to the last flood impacts, there is significant damage to the county surface streets surrounding Lake Samish,” the post read. “Whatcom County Public Works and the Sheriff’s Office are closing access to E. Lake Samish, W. Lake Samish, N. Lake Samish except for local resident traffic to avoid further damage. This severely limits the routes into Whatcom County.”

The detour, according to the South Whatcom post, was to use Alger-Cain Lake Road to Lake Whatcom Boulevard.

That caused traffic on northbound I-5 Monday to back up from the north end of Lake Samish almost to the Alger exit, according to the WSDOT Travel Center.

Iowa Street in Bellingham, Wash., is once again beginning to flood near Interstate 5 on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.
Iowa Street in Bellingham, Wash., is once again beginning to flood near Interstate 5 on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.

Bellingham reopens bridges

Two bridges over Whatcom Creek in Bellingham opened last week after being closed for several days because of concerns that they had been weakened by deluge of water from a Nov. 13-15 rainstorm.

”The flows decreased enough that the Whatcom County bridge inspectors were able to do their assessments and determine that the bridges did not sustain damage from debris impacts and were able to be opened to vehicle traffic,” Public Works Department spokeswoman Amy Cloud told The Herald in an email.

Bridges on James Street and Meador Avenue both were aging and in need of replacement before the flood, she said.

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