9:15 A.M. UPDATE: Continuing Coverage of Flooding in Lewis County

9:50 a.m.

Centralia City Hall is currently taking on water. City officials say it’s the first time floodwaters have entered the building in recent memory. Look for a full story at www.chronline.com and www.lewiscountywatch.com.

9:29 a.m.

Several schools are affected by the flooding situation this morning.

Morton School District has closed for the day and all preschool classes are canceled.

Pe Ell School District is operating two hours later than normal due to water on state Route 6.

Buses in Centralia and Chehalis operated on the safest routes possible, according to the transportation department that oversees both bus operations. However, school has continued as normal in Centralia and Chehalis so far.

9:15 a.m.

Urban flooding is occurring in Centralia, with China Creek overtopping its banks in several areas.

Travel in the Hub City is impacted, with Main Street being closed just east of Yew. Water was flowing over the roadway at Centralia College Boulevard and Washington Avenue also, but college classes appeared to still be ongoing.

At 9 a.m., public works crews began to block off Maple Street between Tower and Pearl in downtown Centralia. Traffic was moving slowly through several inches of water on both Pearl and Tower.

Several other streets in the area are impacted along China Creek.

We’ll have more information on this story as soon as it becomes available.

7:41 a.m.

Several areas have experienced flooding this morning as more than 3 inches of rain have fallen over the past 24 hours in some areas of Lewis County.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Newaukum River through Tuesday morning. That warning is now in effect as the river has reached 10.6 feet, a Phase 2 flood in the Lewis County flood system. It is expected to crest at 13.4 feet this afternoon, just below record level.

Heavy rains have caused urban and small stream flooding in several areas. Water was reported over roadways in several low-lying areas around the Twin Cities. China Creek in downtown Centralia has spilled its banks also.

According to observations at several stations that report to National Weather Service, rain totals in some places have approached three to five inches over the past 24 hours. The Tilton River near Cinebar received 4.6 inches of rain, Chehalis received 2.9 and Onalaska received more than 3.5 inches.

A flood watch for Lewis County has been extended through Tuesday as several rivers can experience minor to moderate flooding. Locations include the Chehalis River at Centralia and Grand Mound, Skookumchuck at Bucoda and the Cowlitz River at Randle.

Meanwhile, the Lewis County Department of Emergency Management has activated the Emergency Operations Center.

The department reports water over roads in several places near the Newaukum River and urges people in low-lying areas to move animals to higher ground. People needing sandbags can buy them at Martin Sand and Gravel, Home Depot and Sunbird.

The Chronicle will stay on top of the flooding situation with frequent updates on Chronline.com andLewisCountyWatch.com.