State agencies helping prepare for Okanogan flooding, expected to be worst in decades

OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Okanogan River is 3 1/2 feet above flood level, and expected to rise several more feet by the end of the weekend. 

Flood level for the Okanogan River is 15.0 feet. As of Wednesday morning, the river was at 18.63 feet, and is expected to fill to 21.0 feet by Sunday night, then begin falling. 

According to the National Weather Service, this could mean serious flooding for homes along the river near Tonasket. The Capital Press, a west coast agricultural publication, reports it will be the worst flooding in the area since 1972.

Several state agencies have crews in Okanogan county working to place sandbags to protect homes and property.

Wednesday morning, officials with The Department of Ecology said they have 42 people deployed, and more on the way, "to help respond to the worst flooding in 46 years in E. Wash."



The Department of Natural resources assumed command of flood response in Okanogan County on Saturday. The DNR has more than 175 people working to prepare for the floodwaters ahead of this weekend. 




On Saturday, Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for 20 Washington counties including Ferry, Okanogan and Pend Oreille. 

If you are in an affected area and need assistance or information, check the Okanogan County Emergency Management's Facebook page.

There will also be a public meeting tonight, where responders will brief the public on flood expectations and protection efforts.

It's Wednesday 6:30 p.m. at Oroville High School (1016 Ironwood St.).

There are currently no evacuation orders in place but the Okanogan River remains closed.  

Red Cross is available to assist affected residents as needed.  

Current road closure information can be found here.