National Weather services warns of potential flooding

NC WASH. - The National Weather Service has put out near daily warnings of the potential for flooding of small...

NC WASH. – The National Weather Service has put out near daily warnings of the potential for flooding of small streams and main stem rivers in North Central Washington.

“Residual runoff from rain and snow melt will result in flooding on some small streams and main stem rivers,” warns the NWS.

The warning is for the Okanogan Highlands and the Okanogan Valley, as well as the Wenatchee area and the Waterville Plateau, according to the National Weather Service’s Spokane office.

As of press time, the weather service was forecasting a continuation of intermittent mountain showers through mid-week, with temperatures rebounding back to near seasonal normals by the weekend.

“This will keep area rivers and steams running high through the week,” warns the NWS.

The National Forest Services is also cautioning visitors to the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests to take extra care in planning outings. Over the weekend, washouts, rockslides and debris flows were found on Forest Service system roads and some trails. In addition, roadbeds are sometimes too soft for travel, they say.

On the Tonasket Ranger District, the cutbank slumped off onto Forest Service road 3575-120 northeast of Chesaw. On the Methow Valley Ranger District, in the western portion of Okanogan County, a debris flow was reported about 1.5 miles from the Twisp River SnoPark across Forest Service road 4420 and South Summit road is temporarily impassable due to a rock fall. The Twisp River Trail, number 440, also had a section that washed out.

“It’s a good idea to check with the District offices before an outing,” said Betsy Peterson, Recreation Staff Officer for Tonasket Ranger District. “But employees don’t travel every road every day, so it is also important to be prepared to encounter the unexpected.”

In addition to the road washouts and debris flows, there have been at least three vehicles reportedly pulled from the mud in the last week, causing costly damage to both roads and vehicles.

“Gathering information before leaving is important,” said Peterson. “But it is also important to let someone know your travel plans, and stock the vehicle with emergency equipment”

The Forest Service appreciates hearing from forest visitors about road and trail conditions. To report a problem or to get information about road and trail conditions visit the forest website at

www.fs.fed.us/r6/oka/recreation or call the Ranger Districts. The Tonasket Ranger District’s phone number is (509) 486-2186 and the Methow Valley Ranger District’s is (509) 996-4000.

Meanwhile the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sent out troops to parts of Washington, Idaho and Montana to help with potential flooding areas.

In Washington, a team has gone out to the Yakima River basin at the request of Yakima County to shore up an area of the federally constructed levee on the Yakima River near Terrace Heights. A team is raising the City of Naches levee and providing assistance on the previously damaged Rock Creek Levee on the Naches River.

Flood fight teams have also deployed to Shoshone, Benewah and Kootenai County, Idaho and returned from Lincoln County, Mont.

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