Flooding updates and damage preparedness  

Flooding reports pouring in from all over Thurston County


According to Lacey, “We received 2.96 inches of rain yesterday (12/5) which was a record for the date, breaking the previous record of 2.18 inches set in 1970. That was a long-standing record that was surpassed by a substantial margin.” 

The atmospheric river has been causing flooding and damage throughout the county and beyond. Water levels are starting to recede, like in Tumwater’s Tyee Drive being reopened today due to urban flooding.  

The weather forecast seems to show a lessening of the rain, however expect more rain to come.  

An atmospheric river is defined as “the most extreme rain and snow events when a long plume of moisture is directed from the ocean to the land, and there is a risk of major travel disruptions or much more serious conditions,” by AccuWeather Meteorologists 

Olympia’s Capital Campus has been taking steps to prepare to prevent the flooding of Capitol Lake, shared Washington State Department of Enterprise Services. Heritage Park is also affected, and the parking lot is closed due to clogged storm drains that the city is working to clear. Expect the park to be closed if flooding occurs. “Crews are taking steps to ready for a response, including staging materials in the area such as sandbags. Our crews also are coordinating their efforts with the City of Olympia to reduce risk for any potential downtown flooding.” 

If you see flooding affecting bike or travel lanes near Capitol Lake, once in a safe location, call Olympia’s Public Work Dispatch at 360-753-8333.  

Roads and sandbags 

According to Thurston County Emergency Management (TCEM) “Many roads are covered with water.  Please drive safe this morning, watch for ponding on roads.” Sandbags and sand are available for use at no cost to Thurston County residents, for locations, go to this site 

For up-to-date information on road closures, please go to the TCEM travel impacts webpage 

Flood damage 

TCEM says to make sure to take pictures of any damage from the flood, “While flood assistance isn't a guarantee, sometimes it comes months or even years after a flood event.  Having pictures of damages and receipts for repairs you make is very important.” 

Editor’s note: If you have any good photos of the flooding occurring or any other events, please submit your image to our news submission and upload a photo to us and tell us who took the photo and what it is to make a good caption, as well as permission to use it.  


1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • AugieH

    The rain gauge in my backyard recorded 11.5 inches over the past 6 days. I hope the weathercasters stop whining about drought conditions.

    Thursday, December 7, 2023 Report this