For immediate distribution
December 9, 2015 – 2pm
Information Regarding Flooding Event in Yakima County
As most are aware, the eastern slopes of the Cascades received a significant amount of rain last night, resulting in a large volume of runoff in the northwestern river drainages in the Yakima County. The Naches River has seen a significant increase in water and debris flow, due to runoff from tributary creeks and the release of water from Bumping Lake dam by the Bureau of Reclamation.
As a result of the weather system last night, the Naches River will continue to rise over the next 24 hours. Currently, the Naches is at 20.19ft (moderate flood stage), and is expected to go up to 20.66ft. (Major flood stage is 21.00). The most recent high level of this river is 20.40 in 2011.
There have been numerous reports of flooding caused damage, particularly in the area of the Nile community. Approximately 10-20 residents in the Nile area were advised to evacuate by the local Fire department. The road leading up the bridge at Rattlesnake Creek has been washed out, and that bridge is not usable by Nile residents. Access to the Nile community is only via the north or south entrances onto highway 410.
A shelter has been opened at the Presbyterian Church in Naches (201 E. 2nd St) by the American Red Cross, and will be available for anyone needing overnight shelter.
Sandbags and sand can are available for private citizens at the Nile Fire Department station #11 located at Rock Creek. Citizens will need to load their own sandbags.
The weather pattern currently shows a break between fronts, which will allow the rivers to slowly recede after the highs over the next 24 hours. The next front is expected to be colder, with snow down to 3500 feet, which will hold the moisture up high with a slower release than the last front.
The excess water will move down through the Naches River into the Yakima River tonight and Thursday, along with the existing flows in the Yakima River from Umtanum, which will result in the Yakima River coming up to moderate flood stage late tonight and Thursday. (12ft-Parker).
Residents near the Naches and Yakima Rivers, and/or near floodplains are advised to be aware of changing conditions, and make preparations, if appropriate, to evacuate persons and livestock. If you are immediately threatened, and need emergency rescue, call 911.
Finally, do not attempt to drive through standing water of unknown depth, especially if water is running over the roadway.
In the event of a flooding emergency, the Yakima Office of Emergency Management will sent out an emergency notification on the Yakima Alert Emergency Notification system. This message will be delivered via voice, text, or email. For information contact YVOEM at 509-574¬1900 or Scott Miller, PIO, at 509-379-1093.