Residents On Pend Oreille River: 'It’s Minute By Minute Checking - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Residents On Pend Oreille River: 'It’s Minute By Minute Checking It'

NEWPORT, Wash. – The Pend Orielle River rose several more inches overnight, according to homeowners who have been keeping a watchful eye on the river for weeks.

"It's minute by minute checking it," said Nancy Stein who lives just north of Newport on Highway 20. "I am constantly checking it. I know it's foolish, but you don't know how fast it's gonna come-up."

Stein's basement has flooded and she moved all of her furniture and belongings into a nearby shed where she is living with her daughter until the water recedes.

"It's very inconvenient," she said of the garage, which does not have running water.

The garage looks like a regular home with couches and televisions set-up inside, but Stein said it is only moderately comfortable because she knows the water is creeping higher and higher towards her home.

The Pend Oreille River is flowing freely through Albeni Dam where every gate is open. Lake Pend Oreille is currently at an elevation of about 2064 feet, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The lake normally sits at 2062.5 feet in the summer.

Authorities say recent rain and mountain snow runoff are creating the worst flooding conditions in Pend Oreille County since 1997.

Homes on both sides of the river are either filling with water or are jeopardized by rising water.

The Army Corps of Engineers spent several days reinforcing a road between Usk and Cusick this week after the river eroded shoreline near River Road.

Authorities expect the river to crest Friday and recede only slightly this weekend.

Stein believes it could be weeks before the water level returns to normal.

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