Residents in the Lincoln County town of Sprague erected walls of sandbags Friday to keep floodwaters out of homes and businesses, and Spokane County commissioners declared a state of emergency because of widespread flooding.
Negro Creek, which runs through Sprague, began spilling over its banks Thursday and by Friday afternoon had inundated parts of the downtown, officials said.
Children stayed home from school to help their parents and other adults pile sandbags along the banks of the creek, which isn’t expected to crest until today or Sunday.
Damage estimates weren’t available, but some cars were under water and several basements were flooded.
“They’ve got some water, but not enough to start evacuating,” said a Lincoln County sheriff’s dispatcher.
In Spokane County, officials warned residents of the Pine River Park housing development to be prepared to evacuate as rising water threatened to overflow Cincinnati Road, the only access to their neighborhood.
Spokane County commissioners made their emergency declaration after Commissioner John Roskelley flew over the Little Spokane River drainage in a helicopter.
The Little Spokane and its tributaries overran several roads and flooded some basements after melting snow and rain swelled the north county streams to their highest levels in at least three decades.
County engineers closed portions of four more roads Friday as the water continued to rise, bringing the number of closures to 33.
The emergency declaration - the second in the county this year due to flooding - may make federal money available for cleanup and repairs.
Health District officials remind people with high water that their wells may be contaminated by overflowing septic tanks. Water test kits are available for $12 at the district office, 1101 W. College in Spokane.
Elsewhere in Eastern Washington, high water and mud blocked roads and streets.
A mudslide 15 feet deep in places covered state Highway 25 near Fruitland, state transportation officials said. Workers using heavy equipment hoped to have the road opened by late today, but it could be Sunday.
In Pend Oreille County, a mudslide blocked the northbound lanes of state Highway 211 near Davis Lake for most of Friday. Several dozen roads in Stevens County were impassable because of water or mud.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS Spokane County residents whose property was damaged by the latest flooding are asked to submit damage assessments to the Department of Emergency Management, 1121 W. Gardner. Reports should include: The resident’s name, address and phone number. Whether the resident owns or rents the damaged property. Whether the property is a private or secondary residence, a mobile home, farm or business. An estimated dollar loss. Whether the property can still be lived in. Any comments about the damage that might be useful.