Due to a combination of heavy rain and melting snow, the National Weather Service declared a flood watch for the Lower Columbia River basin, including the Vancouver-Portland metro area, from Wednesday evening through Saturday afternoon.
Communities along the Interstate 5 corridor from Portland to Longview may be affected.
In Vancouver, the Columbia is expected to rise to 15.83 feet — .07 inches below the 16-foot minor flood stage — at around 2 p.m. Thursday. It’s then expected to peak at 15.98 feet at 1 p.m. Friday. That afternoon, the river should drop slightly, but it will remain above 15 feet through Monday afternoon.
“We’re keeping a very strong eye on it,” said David Bishop, a metrologist at the National Weather Service. “It’s there at just below the minor flood stage.”