Columbia River nearing flood stage

Advisory in effect through noon Monday; showers expected for rest of week

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

 

The mighty Columbia River was running high and fast Sunday, April1, flirting with its flood stage.

The gauge at the Interstate 5 Bridge was at 15.78 feet at 8 p.m. Sunday; 16 feet is considered flood stage. That measurement has nothing to do with the depth of the Columbia or the damage the river could cause. For instance, the river crested at 27 feet during the great flood of 1996.

However, runners and walkers found the river lap

ping onto the Waterfront Renaissance Trail at Columbia Shores Condominiums on Sunday afternoon.

The river was flowing at about 350,000 cubic feet per second at Bonneville Dam. The average for this time of year at Bonneville is about 190,000 cubic feet per second, said Chuck Orwig, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Portland.

The weather service has a flood advisory through noon today for the Columbia.

Meteorologist Liana Ramirez said the high river is “predominately due to the heavy rainfall we’ve been seeing the past several weeks.”

She said this was the third-wettest March on record at Vancouver with 7.81 inches. The average is 4.21 inches for the month. The Vancouver record for March, set in 1916, is 8.38 inches.

Pearson Field recorded .38 of an inch on Friday and .57 of an inch on Saturday.

Enjoy today, as Ramirez said it “is going to be the driest day of the week.”

Then, she said, “once again there will be showers through this week. We may see a break this weekend.”

No problems were reported on the Washougal River.

“It’s a little high, but we haven’t had any calls about it,” said Officer Ryan Castro of the Washougal Police Department.