Efforts continue to protect critical infrastructure
OKANOGAN COUNTY – More than 200 responders from around the state are continuing efforts to solidify protection of critical infrastructure throughout Okanogan County against flooding that began last week and is expected to intensify through this weekend. We want all citizens to be prepared for rivers rising and take appropriate actions to protect lives and property as necessary.
These efforts are being organized by the Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management and the Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team. Crews from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Conservation Corps are working closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers, local officials and countless community volunteers and contractors to assess and strengthen flood protections.
Flooding began last week when warm temperatures melted a record Canadian snowpack into the Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow rivers and their tributaries. Incident Commanders are working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor water levels, which are expected to rise again today and crest near record levels Sunday afternoon. Residents living near these rivers should continue to monitor high water levels and be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary.
Responders will brief the public on flood expectations and protection efforts tonight, Wednesday, at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Oroville High School, 1016 Ironwood St.
There are no current evacuation orders in place at this time. The Okanogan River remains closed. Red Cross is available to assist affected residents as needed. Current road closure information can be found at http://okanogandem.org/map.htm.
Citizens with questions can call 509 422-7348. Additional information and updates can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Okanogan.County.Emergency.Management.