Thursday, February 2, 2023
Feb. 2, 2023

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Clark County sees heavy rain; forecasters see chance of snow

Crews prepare for colder temperatures Monday, potential for a few flakes

By , Columbian staff reporter
Published:
3 Photos
Raindrops hang on the side of a bus shelter as a passenger bundles up against the wind and rain Friday afternoon in downtown Vancouver. Stormy weather blanketed the area as an atmospheric river barreled into Washington and Oregon.
Raindrops hang on the side of a bus shelter as a passenger bundles up against the wind and rain Friday afternoon in downtown Vancouver. Stormy weather blanketed the area as an atmospheric river barreled into Washington and Oregon. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

As Clark County hunkered down Friday for an atmospheric river bringing buckets of rain and strong wind gusts, forecasters also warned of potential snowfall Monday morning turning the roads into a slushy mess.

After a half-inch to an inch of rain had already fallen Friday morning, National Weather Service Meteorologist Tanja Fransen said the Vancouver area could see up to 2 more inches of rain through this morning. At that point, she said the rain is expected to taper off a bit.

Wind gusts as strong as 30 mph near the Columbia River and 20 mph north of Vancouver could bring the risk of power outages in some areas.

Officials are asking people to keep drains clear of leaves and avoid driving down flooded streets unless people are positive they know how deep it is.

“It’ll be a good weekend to put in chili or a stew or something in the crockpot and just enjoy the weekend at home,” Fransen said.

Temperatures are expected to fall Monday, with a high of 44 degrees expected that day, and Fransen said snow could begin to mix in. It’s not likely to be anything that sticks and accumulates, she said, but could create some slush on the roadways.

The best chance for snow will be later in the week, Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but Fransen said the flakes will probably stick in the Cascades and Coast Range.

The city of Vancouver’s Public Works Department is preparing for the potential icy or snowy conditions. Crews may apply deicing solution to dry pavement as a preemptive measure; too much rain will dilute and wash away deicer, the city said.

“Timing and being prepared for whatever the weather brings is a big part of keeping streets passable,” the city said in a statement Friday.

Community members and businesses are responsible for keeping adjacent sidewalks clear, as well as driveways and private parking lots.

Snowy or icy conditions may impact garbage, recycling and organics collections. Customers can sign up to receive service alerts using the RecycleRight app.

Vancouver Public Works Water Utility recommends homeowners take the time now to disconnect garden hoses and insulate outside faucets and hose bibs, as well as water pipes near outer walls and in crawl spaces, basements, garages and attics. Outdoor sprinkler systems should also be prepped for cold weather.

Report problems

For weather-related city issues that need an urgent response, such as traffic signal outages, downed trees or broken water mains, call the city Public Works Operations Center at 360-487-8177. Severe weather updates are also posted on the city’s Public Works’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

For downed power lines, call Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-8000.

Sandbags are available for free at two Clark County Public Works locations: 78th Street Operations Center, 4700 N.E. 78th St., and 149th Street Operations Center, 11609 N.E. 149th St.

People will need to fill their own bags and should come prepared with a shovel; bags and sand are provided.

To report standing water and storm debris on roads and in parks to Clark County Public Works, go to clark.wa.gov/public-works/report-park-road. For problems that require immediate response, call 564-397-2446.

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