Pullman prepares itself for flooding, with more rain expected

PULLMAN, Wash. — Rain has been coming down all day long Wednesday on the Palouse. The region is under a Flood Watch until late Wednesday night.

This has some people concerned. Just last year, a main road in Pullman, Grand Avenue, was flooded. Several businesses were ruined in the damage.

All eyes are on one body of water on the Palouse, the Missouri Flat Creek.

“The headwaters of Missouri Flat Creek are up in Viola, Idaho.” said Shilo Sprouse, storm water services program manager for the City of Pullman.

During last year’s flood, the creek was so full, it spilled out onto the road. Wednesday, there are concerns that may happen again.

“It’s pretty bizarre looking at the radar, what’s happening. We’ve seen steady rain throughout the morning and day today,” Sprouse said.

While last year’s flood was unusual, they’re preparing for anything that comes their way.

“We’ve been removing hazard trees, any obstructions, we’ve had strategic planning that way as well,” Sprouse said.

Cougar Country Drive-In was right in the flood zone last year. Lucky for them, their building was in a position that saved them from a lot of damage. Others, not so much.

“Cougar Country sits a little bit on a knoll here. All the water was around us and there was a little bit of water that came in on the north side through the door, but it was just like the toilet overflowed or something like that. It wasn’t that big. We just wiped it up and cleaned the walls, and it was gone,” said Mike Wagoner, owner of Cougar Country Drive-In.

The restaurant is constantly checking in with the creek, because it’s right behind their building.

“We keep some tabs on some rocks out in the river. When we can’t see the rocks, we get a little worried,” Wagoner said.

The flood missed them last time. They’re not giving the creek an opportunity to flood them if and when there is a next time.

“We’re still planning on sandbags and having them on hand,” Wagoner said.

The City of Pullman is providing sandbags for businesses. The Flood Watch issued by the National Weather Service is scheduled to extend into late Wednesday evening.

Businesses and the storm water services team will be keeping tabs through the night.