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Tests will temporarily dry up river channel

Beginning tonight at sunset, water flows in the north channel of the Spokane River downtown will be stopped as Avista tests an “aesthetic flows program” and works to remove rock and sediment from the riverbed.

The tests require the company to dry out the riverbed completely to test how the river can best flow through that channel, an Avista spokeswoman said. The company must conduct the tests to meet license requirements.

The company warned that going into the dry riverbed is extremely dangerous. If something happens upstream, water could flow into the channel suddenly.

The closure is scheduled to last three weeks, the spokeswoman said, although flows will resume intermittently.