Use Caution as Spokane River Level Increases with Runoff

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Monday, May 8, 2023 at 2:32 p.m.

Each year, during spring runoff, we remind the community to use extreme caution around the Spokane River. Water temperature in the river is very cold this time of year, and the entire river is running high and fast.  Flows in the Spokane River have reached about 25.5 feet at Monroe Street as of today, May 8, according to the gage maintained there by the U.S. Geological Survey. Official flood stage is 27 feet. The river currently is running at about 23,900 cfs (cubic feet per second). River forecasts maintained by the National Weather Service don’t anticipate the river reaching flood stage at this time, but that forecast can change. Other rivers in the region also are high, which can impact the Spokane River, and others are anticipated to cause flooding outside the City.

The Spokane River has now reached portions of the Centennial Trail along Upriver Drive just east of Mission Avenue. People in the area should consider any part of the trail that’s under water closed and follow these safety tips when walking or recreating along 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 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.