TONASKET – Today’s rain isn’t squelching volunteers’ efforts to pitch in and fill sandbags for anyone in need with record flooding expected by the weekend.
Okanogan County Emergency Management staff reported flood waters were expected to crest Saturday morning, May 12, at 20.2 feet. OCEM can be reached at 509-422-3211.
Men, women and children were volunteering at Tonasket City Shop road near Chief Tonasket Park to fill sandbags with a bagger donated by Rob Inlow courtesy of North Central Construction.”We’ve had an incredible turnout,” said Tonasket Council Member Teagan Levine, adding, ”We weren’t delivering earlier, but we are now.”
People can contact Jack Denison at 509-429-8189 for information or call Tonasket City Hall at 509-486-2132.
Sandbagging is also being done in Oroville (contact Oroville City Hall at 509-476-2926); and in Okanogan at the Okanogan Valley Concrete, 509-422-3211.
Crews from DNR, the Forest Service and Tonasket Fire Department along with volunteers from Tonasket Wrestling, Choice Alternative School, the Mennonite Community and other groups, as well as individual volunteers have been working since 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, after filling nearly 3,000 bags Tuesday. Levine said a total of 8,500 were expected to be filled by day’s end Wednesday.
Wednesday’s early release at Tonasket School District brought out workers of all ages.
“It’s raining, but this is fun,” said THS student Tanner Anderson.
Donations of snacks and drinks were made by Tonasket’s Long Term Recovery group, established during the wildfires of 2015-16.