NCW — The Okanogan and Stehekin rivers are expected to reach flood stage today, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning from today through Tuesday.
With a flood stage of 24 feet, the Stehekin River hit 23.47 feet this afternoon, and is expected to spill over its bank onto the Stehekin Valley Road late today or tonight, the Weather Service said. McGregor Meadows Road, Torbert Pasture and part of the Harlequin Campground may flood between today and Monday, when the river is forecast to fluctuate between 24 and 25 feet.
The Okanogan River reached 13.45 feet this morning, and will experience minor flooding at 15 feet by Thursday morning, the agency said.
The river will likely rise to a moderate flood stage of 17 feet late Friday night, and may swell to 17.7 feet by Tuesday morning. A levee in Okanogan and homes close to the river between Tonasket and Malott could experience flooded basements or ground-level floors.
Scott Miller, Okanogan County’s emergency manager, said residents are invited to pick up free sandbags and fill them with sand to protect their homes. Call 422-7206 or 422-7207 for information.
The flooding is due to sudden snowmelt from high temperatures, which spiked mid- to high-80s all this week. Warm weather is not expected to subside until Sunday, when Wenatchee’s high is forecast at 80 degrees.
People driving near flooding rivers are warned never to drive through flooded areas. As little as one foot of water on the road can move a vehicle. People recreating near rising rivers are reminded that runoff is dangerously cold, and can be life-threatening with prolonged exposure. Large debris, including logs and trees, may also be floating down the rapids, increasing the danger to people and boats.
K.C. Mehaffey: 997-2512