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Swollen Inland NW Rivers Cresting Soon

Tom Banse
05/20/2008

Cooler weather in the forecast starting tomorrow (Tuesday) should moderate the rapid mountain snowmelt. But it's also supposed to rain tomorrow. Flood warnings continue on half a dozen Northwest rivers. Swollen rivers are lapping at foundations in Washington's Methow Valley and near Cataldo and St. Maries Idaho. Correspondent Tom Banse has more.

TRANSCRIPT

THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IS SHORING UP LEVEES IN YAKAMA COUNTY, WASHINGTON AND IN NORTH IDAHO'S SILVER VALLEY. THEY'RE ALSO CLEARING LOTS OF DEBRIS GETTING HUNG UP UNDER BRIDGES. FLOOD ENGINEER ERIC WINTERS FIGURES HE'S GOT AT LEAST A WEEK TO GO BEFORE HE CAN REST EASY.

WINTERS: "It's not over yet. That's the one thing I want to make clear to everybody. Just because it's crested it doesn't mean it has all of a sudden stopped, because it'll continue up for a long time."

HIDDEN SNAGS AND DECEPTIVELY STRONG CURRENTS GENERATED NON–STOP RESCUE CALLS OVER THE WEEKEND ON THE MCKENZIE RIVER NEAR EUGENE AND THE GREEN RIVER NEAR SEATTLE. LANE COUNTY SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR JOHN MILLER SAYS THE START OF THE WORK WEEK AND COOLER WEATHER MEAN RESCUE CREWS CAN BREATHE EASIER.

MILLER: "We're not going to close the rivers, but we will advise people that it is safer if you stay off of them until the water levels go down a little bit. Folks just aren't used to the current we have right now."

KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON DID CLOSE TWO POPULAR RIVERS AFTER NUMEROUS WEEKEND ACCIDENTS. MILLER WORRIES AREA RIVERS WILL STILL BE RUNNING DANGEROUSLY HIGH DURING THE UPCOMING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. I'M TOM BANSE REPORTING.

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