Major flooding in the Chehalis Valley, but a drier weekend ahead

Rising waters on area rivers have caused a closure of Interstate 5 through Chehalis and Centralia, but drier weather is ahead.

A cold front swept through Western Washington today bringing an end to widespread rainfall, but the damage has been done as area rivers continue to rise in some spots. Several records were set yesterday, including the all-time record for daily rainfall in Hoquiam.

The rain and snow melt has caused several area rivers and creeks to rise above flood stage. Most of the rivers impacted have crested, or are cresting, this morning. The major rivers causing issues over I-5 on the south end of our viewing area are the Chehalis and the Skookumchuk rivers.

RELATED: 20-mile stretch of I-5 in Lewis, Thurston counties closed due to flooding

Flooding there has caused officials to close a 20-mile stretch of the freeway between Grand Round and Napavine. The Skookumchuk crests Friday night at Centralia and the Chehalis crests Saturday morning at Grand Mound. Until then, rising waters will continue to be an issue.

RELATED: Here's how to get around Washington mountain pass closures

The good news is that the widespread rain is done! Western Washington will be left with isolated showers the rest of the day, but heavy snow will linger in the Cascades. 10-15" of new snow is possible through Saturday. All the Cascade mountain passes are still shut down and will be until at least Sunday. For the north sound and the coast, winds could be strong at times, gusting up to 50 mph.

After we get through today, this weekend looks mainly dry and even sunny at times. Showers return early next week, but I don't see a big soaker heading our way. With warmer than average temperatures, there is no lowland snow in the forecast for at least the next 10 days.

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