Doug Camp/Special to The Chronicle
Volunteers prepare to unload a truckload of sandbags on the 500 block of North Second Avenue, Okanogan, on Saturday morning, May 12.
As of Saturday, May 12, 2018
OKANOGAN Sandbagging continues this morning, May 12, on North Second Avenue, where flood water from the Okanogan River has breached the dike.
There's water around houses in the 500 block, over the sidewalk and into the street.
Volunteers worked Friday in the area, near Linden Street, and into the night. On Saturday morning, firefighters from Fire District No. 3 (Okanogan, Omak and Malott) were summoned to the area to continue sandbagging.
Others - including those from the Omak Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, neighbors and others - volunteered to unload and place sandbags.
At mid-morning, Okanogan County Emergency Services put out a call for additional people to help with sandbagging. Check-in is at 426 N. Second Ave.
"Thanks to all who have continued to support saving these homes in that area," the department said.
The bags were being filled at Okanogan Valley Concrete on Elmway by other volunteers.
North Second Avenue remains closed between Maple and Greta streets. Traffic is being routed onto side streets.
The county Emergency Operations Center has been activated in the commissioners' hearing room of the Grainger Administration Building, 123 N. Fifth Ave., Okanogan. It can be reached at 509-422-7348.
A flood warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow valleys, while a flash flood watch is in place for the rest of Okanogan County. Northern Ferry County also is under a flood warning.
Numerous areas of the Okanogan Valley have flooded, with the Cordell area between Oroville and Ellisforde, the Riverside area and Okanogan feeling the brunt of the high water.
The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid- to high 80s for the next few days.
Weather service data show the Okanogan River crested Friday night at 19.71 feet at Janis bridge south of Tonasket. As of 10:15 a.m. Saturday, the level was at 19.45 feet and dropping, but the water level is expected to start rising again around mid-day Monday.
This year's flooding so far is the third-highest in recorded history. The record was at 22.54 feet in 1972, with the 1948 flood's high mark at 21.79 as No. 2.