SPOKANE, Wash. - City officials are helping citizens protect their property from rising waters along the Spokane River. Crews made sand and bags available to property owners in Peaceful Valley and along Upriver Drive Thursday, to help keep water out of their homes.
Spokane Mayor Mary Verner toured Upriver Drive Wednesday and Peaceful Valley Thursday to assess flood damage.
"I wanted to see the flooding first-hand," the Mayor said. "At this time the rising Spokane River is impacting only a very few homes in our community, but we will keep a watchful eye on the situation as it develops. We do want to stress the danger of going in the river, and again ask our citizens and visitors to stay out of the water."
Officials say sand and bags will be available in the parking lot at the Peaceful Valley Community Center and near the closed portion of Upriver Drive until 5 p.m. Thursday.
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The Street Department put sandbags at the boat launch at the end of Water Street in Peaceful Valley, around the Erie Street wastewater pump station, and around the levy in Peaceful Valley at the former Casket Company property.
Upriver Drive from Mission to Greene streets remains closed, and South Riverton, which is on the south side of the Spokane River, is now closed to through traffic at Greene Street.
Fire officials are reiterating their safety concerns regarding the river, saying the entire river is running high and fast, and water temperatures remain very cold.
The National Weather Service expects the Spokane River to crest on Friday afternoon or early Saturday. They anticipate that the river will remain above flood stage until late this May.
To be safe around the river the city encourages citizens to:
- 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.
- 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.
- Observe road closure signs and stay out of barricaded areas. Remember that portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive are barricade off. Please obey that signage.
- Be aware of the large debris in the river. Higher water levels are pushing logs and other large debris into the river, increasing the danger to people.
- Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have an emergency along the river! With these conditions, problems can develop rapidly. Don't wait to make that emergency call.