Flooding forces closure of highways in Lewis County; Rep. Abbarno urges people who need shelter to go to Centralia Middle School

Heavy rains have swollen China Creek, and the Chehalis, Skookumchuck and Newaukum rivers, causing extensive flooding in some portions of Lewis County and forcing the closure of U.S. Highway 6 from Milepost 6 to Milepost 48 near Twin Oaks. About 20 miles of Interstate 5 (I-5) from Exit 68 (Highway 12) to Exit 88 (Grand Mound) was closed for several hours Friday morning due to rising floodwaters, but has since reopened. The northbound I-5 off-ramp to Main Street/SR 6 remains closed due to residual floodwater in the area.

Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, represents the 20th District where much of the flooding is occurring.

“We're concerned that even though water in some areas has gone down, the worst may not be over yet. I highly recommend people in Lewis County at risk of flooding protect themselves and their families by coming to the emergency shelter at Centralia Middle School,” said Abbarno.

“I am very thankful for the volunteers, emergency workers with Lewis County, and the American Red Cross — all of whom have worked to prepare and respond to the flooding,” added Abbarno. “We have food, cots and blankets available at the school. Locations have been set up throughout the county so people can make sandbags for their properties. My office is also ready to assist and refer people to other emergency services in the area as needed.”

Centralia Middle School is located at 901 Johnson Road in Centralia.

Other important flood information is below:

Abbarno is the assistant ranking Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee. During the 2021 legislative session, he secured $70 million in the capital budget for flood mitigation and habitat restoration in the Chehalis Basin.

“This week's flooding in the local area underscores the importance of these funds and addressing this serious problem so we can protect lives and property. My work on this issue in Olympia is ongoing as we try to address flood mitigation issues in the 20th District and across the state,” Abbarno noted.

PHOTO: Rep. Peter Abbarno and his wife, Holly, prepare sandbags in downtown Centralia.

PHOTO: Cots have been set up at Centralia Middle School to provide shelter to flood victims.