Summer-like temperatures left the Inland Northwest on Friday, but three days of temperatures above or near 80 left the region with a problem: flooding.
The Kettle River near the Canadian border and Curlew entered minor flood stage on Thursday and is expected to reach major flood level on Sunday.
Esten Lee, fire chief for Ferry-Okanogan Fire Protection District 14, said Friday morning that the river was getting close to a number of homes built along the river and some people have begun to move smaller structures out of the way.
“We’ve got crews ready to sandbag,” Lee said.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the river, which is expected to rise to moderate flood level on Saturday and major flood level on Sunday.
Rachael Fewkes, a weather service meteorologist in Spokane, said the Kettle River has reached major flood stage five times since records started to be kept in 1929. The record flood occurred on May 11, 2018. Although the river flows through Curlew, Lee said the main part of the town is not currently in danger of flooding.
The weather service also issued a flood warning for the St. Joe River near St. Maries, Idaho. The weather service forecasts the St. Joe will enter minor flood stage later Friday and crest about a foot higher late Saturday or early Sunday, still in the minor flood category.
The rise in the region’s rivers will make for prime viewing of Spokane Falls. The Spokane River in Spokane is expected to crest in the middle of next week less than a foot below minor flood level. The river through Spokane hasn’t hit flood stage since 2017.
The weather service received reports of 0.3 to 0.7 inches of rain in the Spokane area in the 24-hour period that ended 7 a.m. Friday. Chances of rain remain in the forecast though Tuesday. But only up to a tenth of an inch of rain is predicted in Spokane on Saturday.
The forecast for Bloomsday is mostly cloudy skies with about a 25% chance of rain, according to the National Weather Service. It will be around 50 degrees by the start of the race and in the upper 50s around noon.
Sunny skies are expected to return on Wednesday with a high near 70. The 80s could return on next Friday, according to the weather service. The highs in Spokane reached 85 on Tuesday and Wednesday, record highs for each day.