Spokane Fire Department warns citizens to stay out of the Spokane River

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, 509.625.6505

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 7:10 p.m.

The Spokane River is starting to cover portions of 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. Citizens should consider any part of the trail that's under water closed.

City Fire officials have expressed significant safety concerns about the river. Despite somewhat warmer outside temperatures, water temperatures in the river remain very cold, Fire officials say. And, the entire river is running high and fast.

Flows in the Spokane River have reached about 25.5 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 27 feet; the Weather Service is not anticipating the river reaching flood stage at this time. Even at flood stage, flooding within the City is very localized.

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 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.