River flood warning issued

OROVILLE – The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Okanogan River and is monitoring conditions on the Similkameen River.

The Okanogan River is expected to reach flood stage by Thursday between Oroville and Tonasket.

Okanogan County officials predict the river could reach 17.5 feet by week’s end.

The river has been rising at about a foot a day since last week.

According to the Weather Service, moderate flooding occurs at 17 feet and major flooding at 18 feet.

Free sandbags are available to flood-plain residents.

The flood waters are expected to affect mainly farmland, officials said.

On the Similkameen, officials are keeping a close eye on river levels.

According to Weather Service statistics, the river rose also about a foot a day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. As of press time, the river was nearly 9 feet; flood stage is 14 feet.

The Similkameen flood stage designations changed Friday, with the current designations as follows:

14 feet – Action Stage

15 feet – Moderate Flooding

16 feet – Major Flood

Weather Service officials said the rapid rise in river levels is due to high temperatures and faster-than-normal snowmelt.

— The Chronicle

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