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Spokane Falls roars as flood water arrives

UPDATED: Mon., March 10, 2014, 3:53 p.m.

Several Inland Northwest rivers are at or near flood stage today, and the surge of water will be seen later this week at Spokane Falls where flows could reach 27,000 cubic feet of water every second.

The Spokane River was at 16,100 cubic feet per second Monday afternoon.

Lake Coeur d’Alene is expected to crest Wednesday at three feet below flood stage.

Rain and snow melt have combined to increase stream flows in recent days.

The Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo was expected to crest at just below 30,000 cubic feet per second on Tuesday, and was measured at more than two feet above flood stage.

The National Weather Service said some homes and low-lying areas will be affected by the flood waters.

The St. Joe River at St. Maries was moving toward flood stage today. It is expected to crest on Tuesday at about 20 inches above minor flood stage.

Flood warnings were posted today by the weather service for the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene rivers.

The Palouse River at Potlatch was also expected to crest today and Tuesday about four inches above flood stage.

The Grande Ronde River at Troy, Ore., was also cresting today and Tuesday at nearly two feet above flood stage. It is just short of what is considered a major flood level. The flood waters should recede by Wednesday. A flood warning was issued.

The National Weather Service said that 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in the mountains over the weekend above the flooding rivers. Temperatures were above freezing and gusty winds accelerated melting.

A flood on the Spokane River system in April 2012 sent raised the flow to nearly 35,000 cfs at Spokane.

Forecasters said rainy weather should subside later today with a break in the recent storm pattern arriving on Tuesday through Thursday. Highs are expected to go from the upper 40s to middle 50s with mostly sunny weather expected starting on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Yakima, Umatilla, John Day, Snoqualmie, Klickitat and Green rivers were expected to approach or exceed flood levels.


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