Getting sandbags ready: Lewis County homeowners prepare for possible flooding

CENTRALIA, Wash. -- The rain was coming down at a steady pace late Thursday night in the South Sound. Emergency managers say they’ll be keeping an eye on area rivers over the next few days.

Gary Baldwin wanted to load up a few sandbags, before the rain really started to come down in Centralia.

“Seems like every year we get one of these systems that roll through.”

He says his home has flooded before, so he’s learned it’s best to be prepared.

“The one year we did get it, the water was racing underneath the house pretty good. So we want to block it off, so it doesn't do a lot of damage under the house.”

Emergency managers in Lewis County say it’s been a while since we’ve had a major fall storm, so all homeowners should be getting ready right now.

“People don't need to be scared, they don't need to be afraid,” says Steve Mansfield. “But they do need to be prepared.”

A lot of rain is expected with this system, so flooding is a possibility.  It’s not just people who live near rivers like the Chehalis that need to be concerned.

“We’re going to have a lot of wet roads, a lot of roads that are unpassable, we're going to have some houses that do get water in them.”

Mansfield suggests that families talk to their neighbors, and come up with evacuation plans.

Baldwin agrees that a little planning, and sandbagging, can go a long way.

“You don't want to wait till it's too late," he said.

Emergency managers say one of the things everyone should do is get to know the area where they live so if the roads they normally use are flooded, they know other evacuation routes.