Snow melt and runoff could push the Columbia River close to flood stage by this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Water levels are expected to remain high throughout the Columbia River basin, possibly cresting Saturday morning. The Columbia itself could peak at 15.83 feet at Vancouver, according to the weather service. Flood stage is 16 feet. The river was running at just over 12.5 feet on Wednesday morning.
The expected rise comes after a run of unseasonably warm temperatures across the Northwest. Vancouver topped 80 degrees both Sunday and Monday.
The weather service urged people to use caution near river banks while the water is high. Boaters should also watch for floating debris and fast currents.
The Columbia also neared flood stage in early April, after Vancouver endured its third-wettest March on record this year. Even below flood stage, high waters can cause minor flooding in places such as the city’s Waterfront Renaissance Trail.