KELA/KMNT News Headlines for Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014
Flood Warnings for Newaukum, Cowlitz Rivers
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the Newaukum River near Chehalis and the Cowlitz River at Randle. Continued heavy rainfall over Southwest Washington today is forecast to push the Newaukum River above the 10.5 foot flood today and remain above flood stage until early Friday morning. The Cowlitz River at Randle is forecast to rise above the 18-foot flood stage Thursday evening and crest about 19.5 feet Friday morning. There will be some minor flooding of roads as well as residential and commercial areas.
Transient Jailed on Child Rape Charges
A 20-year old transient from California is in custody on suspicion of rape. According to Centralia Police, the transient identified as Ian C. Henry had traveled from California to Colorado where he apparently befriended a 15-year old female from Centralia on Facebook. Henry then came to Centralia by bus to meet the girl. Sgt. Stacy Denham says the situation was reported to police by the 15-year old’s older sister when she learned that the two had been engaging in consensual relations. Henry was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Centralia and booked into the Lewis County Jail on several counts of Third Degree Rape because the female is underage. The investigation is ongoing.
More Rain Means Rising Rivers
More rain is in the forecast for today before it turns to showers this evening and tonight. That will push local rivers higher, although the current National Weather Service predictions are most should remain below flood stage. The only exceptions are the Newaukum River near Chehalis and the Cowlitz river at Randle where there are flood warnings. A flood watch continues through late tonight (Thursday) for many counties in southwest Washington including Lewis, Thurston and Grays Harbor. The rain is also increasing the risk of landslides in Western Washington.
Emergency Declaration to Help Prather Road Cleanup
The Thurston County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an emergency declaration that will allow the county’s Public Works Department to fast-track the funding and contracts needed to clean up the mudslide on Prather Road near Grunenfelder Road. Thurston County officials say water, mud and debris have continued to slide in the area since the initial slide on February 18 happened as a result of the series of heavy rainstorms that swept through our area. Public Works Director Donavan Willcutt says they need to get the hillside stabilized before they can actually begin the road repairs on Prather Road. Prather Road remains closed from Michigan Hill Road to Lundeen Road.
A Lewis County Commissioner Won't Seek Re-election
Lewis County Commissioner Lee Grose has announced that he will not be seeking re-election this year. That leaves Toledo Mayor Jerry Pratt as the only announced candidate for the job for the time being. Grose has served two terms as the Commissioner for District 3, which includes most of east Lewis County and parts of south Lewis County. He is currently the chair of the commission. When asked what prompted his decision to not seek re-election, Grose told the Towne Crier it’s “time to move on.” Jerry Pratt, who has been mayor of Toledo for the past 10 years, informally announced his intention to run for County Commissioner on February 18. The official filing period for the August Primary is the week of May 12.