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Kootenai, Pend Oreille rivers flowing BIG

RIVERS — Recent rains storms with more on the way combined with high flows out of Canada are prolonging the region's "spring" runoff in a big way.

The Kootenai River rose above flood stage at Bonners Ferry today, according to our S-R weather reporter. The minor flooding is expected through Friday, forecasters said. The river was about three inches above flood stage of 64 feet at Bonners Ferry.

In addition, the Pend Oreille River below Albeni Falls Dam was near flood stage. The river was at 45 feet in Newport this morning.

Cities such as Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry could break records for June rainfall with more than five inches recorded there already this month.

Silver Valley Community Resource Center calls for closure of East Mission Flats Repository

In regards to the Eastern Mission Flats Repository, the Silver Valley Community Resource Center has some serious criticisms against the EPA. Now, they’re calling on the closure of the Mission Flats Repository citing a lack of evidence that, in some ways, it is doing more damage, than good.

From the SVCRC:

Kellogg, ID - With the onset of Spring flooding and record snow packs in the higher elevations, citizens are preparing for flooding once again of the Old Mission toxic repository. More than 3000 individuals and 75 groups including national have called upon EPA to shut down the Old Mission toxic waste repository that is linked to the millions of tons of lead being washed downstream in one day of flooding in 2011. The US/GS that is monitoring downstream pollution measured 160 metric tons of lead being washed down in one day in Jan. 2011

Grieving Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre — five small towns in Italy —was a favorite weekend getaway for Gonzaga in Florence students long before Rick Steves "discovered" the region.

But thanks to Rick Steves' travel blog, I discovered that parts of Cinque Terre were literally torn apart due to massive flooding. Steves' reported:

One of our most beloved corners of Europe suffered a severe natural disaster on Tuesday, October 25. Flash flooding, triggered by unusually heavy rain, ripped through Italy's Liguria region and inflicted serious damage on the Cinque Terre towns of Monterosso and Vernazza. In these towns, flooding was accompanied by landslides, filling streets with rocks, mud and debris up to 12 feet deep.

The YouTube videos of cars in raging waters, rushing to the sea, are heartbreaking. People are missing, the damage is untold and it's unknown whether the trail that connects the towns will be walkable again. That urge to tell others who love Cinque Terre as much as I do reminded me today of the urge you have to tell others when a friend or family member is sick or dying. So the news is now out on our GU in Florence email. And we hope for restoration soon for this heavenly part of the world.

(AP photo)

Nasty squall line hits North Spokane…

Good evening, Netizens…


Due to the hockey semi-finals, KHQ-TV broadcast their evening news at 8:00 PM tonight. Ironically, they let their Success by Six food drive supersede the news, as at 7:14 PM this evening, parts of North Spokane were hit by a serious regional rain squall, complete with lightning strikes, hail, torrential rains and gusty winds. At the peak of the storm, which lasted approximately one-half hour, hail stones the size of cats-eye marbles were bouncing off the streets in quantity; standing out on the patio we had to yell to be heard over the raucous noise of the hail stones hammering on the patio roof overhead. The sidewalks and street were so white with the hail it looked like an early winter snow.


Fearing the worst for the Virtual Garden's frail tomato plants just recently planted, we went and looked as soon as the hail stopped falling. We just had installed half a dozen new tomato cages, which we purchased for a pittance from Habitat for Humanity, and it must have been divine providence, because those metal cages appear to have deflected most of the damaging hail away from the tiny tomato plants, although it didn't hesitate about removing leaves from several trees nearby.


Since that time the sewers on both sides of the street blocked up, flooding the area with water up to the bottoms of cars parked on both sides of the street, but we are hardly alone in that. Portions of Market, Hamilton, Francis, Division and Monroe— almost anyplace there is a hill, the sewers rapidly overflowed with knee-deep water, creating a minor bit of havoc with city traffic.


Since we couldn't find any city employees to help deal with the flooded sewer, we cleaned the flotsam and jetsam out of the sewer, and it gave a might burp of appreciation as the water once more went cascading down the drain. Within minutes it was as if the street had never been flooded; within a half an hour, the hail had all but vanished.


It was just another wonderful evening in Paradise. Of course, your results may differ.



I-5 may be closed soon north of Tacoma

State emergency officials say that they may have to close Interstate 5, the main north-south freeway linking Western Washington, “within the next few hours.”

“There is potential for the freeway to be closed prior to the conclusion of this afternoon’s rush hour,” said a statement from the state’s emergency operations center. The area they’re concerned about: near Fife, north of the Puyallup River Bridge. (Possible workarounds for drivers: SR 167 and 512.)

The state is using computer models, river gauges and state troopers on the scene to monitor river levels.

“It is not clear how long the freeway and surrounding areas will be under water,” the statement says. “Once the water recedes it will be necessary for engineers to check the roadbed for safety and make any needed repairs before reopening.”

Major highway road closures reported include SR 106, SR 410, SR 539, SR 9, SR 546, SR 202, SR 162, SR 112, SR 165, SR 10, SR 8 and SR 20 due to mudslides, water over roadway, roadcuts and safety concerns.