Inland NW prepares for potential flooding

Inland NW prepares for potential flooding

A warm trend in the seven day forecast has many hopeful: Melting snow might help open up some of the roads that have been narrowed by snow banks.

But, city roads are vulnerable after weeks of plowing, and officials want us all to be prepared.

The city of Coeur d’Alene sent out a flood warning yesterday.

There is a lot of accumulation on the ground right now with snow and ice. A lot of the storm drains are covered with ice and snow and so the water’s not going to get through those drains right away,” said Deputy City Administrator Sam Taylor.

If next week warms up as expected, streets and intersections could flood.

“So we’re working hard before the thaw happens to try and clear as many as we can now to try and get that flow going but we know there are going to be some areas where it’s likely that localized flooding will occur,” Taylor said.

In both the Lake City and Spokane, crews know where those problem spots will be.

“There are certain areas that they know will flood, like the bottom of hills, so they’ll focus their work where they traditionally have street flooding,” said Marlene Feist, with the City of Spokane’s Public Works department.

Water on the road, yet another danger for drivers during an already cautious driving season.

“Of course we would always tell citizens- If they don’t know how deep the puddle is, they shouldn’t drive through it because it’s not safe to do so,” Feist said.

Especially if those puddles freeze over at night.

Both cities asking for your help locating additional problem spots.

“It’s really those places that we don’t expect it, again because of the snow and ice over the drains that we want community members to help us out,” Taylor said.

In Spokane, you’re asked to give road crews a hand, if possible.

“If people can safely clear away snow and ice in front of a storm drain at their business or their home… that would be helpful as well to avoid some of those flooding situations,” Feist said.

Coeur d’Alene asks its more rural residents to help. Within the downtown area, they ask folks to leave the streets to them.

‘We want people to be safe so we want to be the ones out in the street, helping people out,” Taylor said.

To report a flooding problem spot in Coeur d’Alene, dial (208) 769-2234.

To report a similar problem in Spokane, dial 755-CITY.