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Friday, February 27th - 3:36 AM

Fire Department renews warning to stay out of the Spokane River

Release Date: 4/24/2012 11:30:00 AM

MEDIA  CONTACt:  Marlene Feist (509) 625-6740

Once again, the Spokane River is covering portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive just east of Mission Avenue. The Spokane Fire Department is renewing its warning to citizens to stay out of the Spokane River, and the City Parks & Recreation Department says citizens should consider any part of the trail that’s under water closed.

City Fire officials have expressed significant safety concerns about the river. Despite the warmer outside temperatures, water temperatures in the River remain very cold, Fire officials say. And, the entire river is running high and fast.

Flows in the Spokane River have reached more than 25.5 feet. Flood stage is 27 feet, and the National Weather Service currently predicts the River will reach that point on Friday and crest around Monday. Even at flood stage, flooding within the City is very localized. Still, City officials are monitoring river levels very closely to determine impacts to citizens.

Please use extreme caution around the river:

  • Don’t allow children to play in the river. Moving water six inches deep can knock an adult off their feet, and the swift current can move a person downstream quickly. Cold water temperatures also can cause hypothermia.
  • Don’t attempt to drive over flooded roads. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.
  • Observe road closure signs and stay out of barricaded areas. Remember all portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive that are under water are closed.
  • Be aware of the large debris in the river. Higher water levels can push logs and other large debris into the river, increasing the danger to people.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have an emergency along the river! With these conditions, problems can develop rapidly. Don’t wait to make that emergency call.
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