[5/22/18] OKANOGAN FLOOD UPDATE
With levees fortified to withstand expected river flows and sandbags stockpiled throughout
Okanogan County, the Northeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team (IMT)
has completed its mission to solidify flood protection along the Okanogan River. Monitoring
efforts will now be managed by the county’s Department of Emergency Management and cities
along the river valley.
Thanks to the help of dedicated community volunteers, the IMT made of firefighters from the
Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Washington Fire Service, the
Washington Conservation Corps and the Washington State Patrol was able to fill and lay more
than 220,000 sandbags along the river’s banks, resulting in 6,623 feet of additional protection
along levees from Oroville to Okanogan.
“We’re not completely out of this yet, but we’re in a lot better place than we were a week ago,”
said Maurice Goodall, Okanogan County Emergency Management Director. “We’ve got a good
protection built up, and enough support in our communities to be able to respond to any leaks
that may come up going forward.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will remain in Okanogan County to ensure the stability of
levees. Veterans relief organization Team Rubicon will also be in Okanogan County to help
residents in need of assistance during the flood and after waters recede.
Although water levels are not as high as earlier forecasted, the ground is extremely saturated
and may become unstable in areas.
All citizens should be prepared and take appropriate actions to protect lives and property as
necessary. A flash flood watch issued by the National Weather Service Thursday remains in
effect. Citizens should be aware of the potential for flash floods especially over recent burn
scars, as well as the possibility of rapidly rising tributary systems feeding into the Okanogan
The National Weather Service is forecasting the river to remain in moderate to major flood
stage into next weekend, meaning flows are expected to be between 17-to-20-feet.
Flooding began earlier this month when warm temperatures melted a record Canadian
snowpack into the Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow rivers and their tributaries. Residents
living near these rivers should continue to monitor high water levels and be prepared to move
to higher ground if necessary.
The Okanogan River remains closed to recreational use.
Potable drinking water for those in need is available at the following locations:
· Oroville City Shop, 915 Appleway
· Tonasket City Shop, 500 Railroad Ave.
· Riverside City Hall
For more information: Okanogan Emergency Management 509-422-7348.
Additional information and updates can be found online okanogandem.org