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Saturday, January 18, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

More flooding expected on Okanogan, other area rivers

UPDATED: Fri., May 11, 2018

Cathie Desjardin of the Army Corps of Engineers demonstrates how to stack sand bags to repel flood waters Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at the Kalispel Tribal headquarters in Usk, Washington. Communities in the region are girding for possible heavy flooding this weekend. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Cathie Desjardin of the Army Corps of Engineers demonstrates how to stack sand bags to repel flood waters Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at the Kalispel Tribal headquarters in Usk, Washington. Communities in the region are girding for possible heavy flooding this weekend. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Major flooding of the Okanogan River near Tonasket is expected to continue through the next week, according to the National Weather Service.

The Okanogan River, which runs through Tonasket, reached a level of 19 feet early Friday morning, which is above the 15-foot flood stage.

Melting snow combined with recent rainfall is leading to continued flooding of the river, which is forecast to reach a crest of 21 feet by Thursday – an inch shy of the flood record set in 1972, according to the National Weather Service.

Okanogan county announced Friday afternoon that it had opened its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate communication about region floods. Requests for information and assistance can be directed to (509) 422-7348.

The city of Omak has a levy that’s handling water flow, but is experiencing backup in storm drains. Some residents and businesses in Omak are experiencing basement flooding, according to an Omak Police Department release. Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Okanogan County Emergency Management are continuing to monitor river levels, according to the release.

Omak City Administrator Todd McDaniel said the city brought in additional pumps to handle water flow and is on 24/7 watch.

“We believe the levy is going to hold. We are concerned about (water) seepage coming in, but I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “We are hoping we don’t have anyone displaced.”

The Pend Oreille River is forecast to reach a flow of more than 118,000 cubic feet per second by next Thursday, which hasn’t occurred since 2011.

The Kettle River reached a crest of 22 feet Friday and is expected to remain above record levels for the next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Though not yet above the flood stage, the Spokane river in Spokane reached a near-flood stage Friday, though the National Weather Service predicts it will likely crest their and go back down next week.

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