SPOKANE, Wash. - With the Spokane River near flood stage and very warm temperatures expected later this week, the City of Spokane's Fire Department and Public Works Division are urging citizens to use extreme caution around the Spokane River.
Areas along Upriver Drive from the Riverview Apartments east to Greene Street and in Peaceful Valley are most at risk for flooding, but the entire river is running high and fast. Although outside air temperatures may be warm, water temperatures are very cold. These conditions are a recipe for potential drowning.
The National Weather Service says the Spokane River may reach flood levels of 27 feet early next week. Snowpack levels in the mountains remain above normal, and wind, rain, and temperature all affect how fast the snow will melt and the water level rises.
The City wants to remind residents to use extreme caution around the river:
o Don't allow children to play in the river. Moving water six inches deep can knock an adult off their feet, and the swift current can move a person downstream quickly. Cold water temperatures also can cause hypothermia.
o Don't attempt to drive over flooded roads. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.
o Observe road closure signs and stay out of barricaded areas. Even before roadways are flooded, portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive can become submerged. Please obey signage there, as well.
o Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have an emergency along the river.
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