news-riverPhoto by Sue Misao: The high, fast Methow River is causing debris to accumulate under the Carlton bridge.

 

BY MARCY STAMPER

As expected, the Okanogan River near Tonasket experienced minor to moderate flooding over the weekend and the flood warning is still in place.

The Okanogan River is still above 17 feet near Tonasket and is expected to start dropping later this week. Minor flood stage is 15 feet and the moderate flood stage is 17 feet.

At Malott, the river is over 15 feet, more than 2 feet above the historical maximum for the date.

The Methow River at Winthrop has reached about 17 feet almost every day since Thursday (May 9), close to the maximum recorded for this time of year, according to records kept by the National Weather Service for the past two decades. The river was at 16 feet Tuesday morning (May 14) and is expected to continue to fall to 15 feet as cooler temperatures persist this week. No flooding was reported.

At Pateros, the Methow River was almost 8.5 feet on Monday, close to the maximum level for the date. Flood stage at that location is 10 feet. There is no flood stage established for the river at Winthrop.

Last week’s warm weather melted some of the high-elevation snowpack in the eastern Cascades and southern British Columbia mountains, which was rapidly filling area rivers, according to the Weather Service. Showers and temperatures in the 60s are in the forecast for this week.

Call the Okanogan County Department of Emergency Management at (509) 422-7207 for more information or assistance, or visit okanogandem.org.

Forecasts and river levels are available online at http://water.weather.gov and www.nwrfc.noaa.gov.