Fire officials warn: stay out of the Spokane River


The Spokane River is reaching the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive just east of Mission Avenue. 

The Spokane Fire Department is warning citizens to stay out of the Spokane River.  The Parks Department has stated that citizens should consider any part of the trail that’s under water closed.

City Fire officials have expressed significant safety concerns about the river.  Water temperature in the river is very cold, Fire officials say, and the entire river is running high and fast. 

Flows in the Spokane River have reached about 25 feet at Monroe Street, according to the gage maintained there by the U.S. Geological Survey. Official flood stage is 27 feet, and river forecasts currently are anticipating the river will reach 27.5 feet around Tuesday. The river is running at about 22,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) and is expected to crest at about 35,000 cfs. A week ago, the river was running at about 11,000 cfs.

The City notes that even at flood stage, flooding within the City limits is very localized—with flooding usually contained to areas along Upriver Drive east of Avista, in the low-lying area along Water Street in Peaceful Valley, and on South Riverton near Mission Avenue.

Please use extreme caution around the river:

  • Don’t allow children to play in the river.  Moving water six inches deep can knock an adult off their feet, and the swift current can move a person downstream quickly.  Cold water temperatures also can cause hypothermia.
  • Stay out of any barricaded areas.  Remember all portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive that are under water are closed.
  • Be aware of the large debris in the river.  Higher water levels can push logs and other large debris into the river, increasing the danger to people.
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately if you have an emergency along the river!  With these conditions, problems can develop rapidly.  Don’t wait to make that emergency call.

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