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As Yakima River Flood Waters Recede, Residents Clean Up

Benton County Emergency Services Dept.
Portions of Gomer Road near Richland, Wash. are closed due to water over the roadway.

Some areas of the Northwest remain at risk of flooding. But residents along the Yakima River are cleaning up flood damage as the water recedes.

Unmanned boats were floating down the river [today] Thursday, cut loose from their moorings. Some roads are washed out. Jodee Peyton is with the Benton-Franklin Health District in southeast Washington. She says her main concern is that people don’t get sick from drinking well water.

“Having the well head submerged or having flood waters near it, the well can become contaminated. And before that drinking water can be used it’s recommended that the water be disinfected. And then have the well tested by a laboratory to make sure that it's free of bacterial contamination. ”

Emergency managers along the Yakima River say people appeared to be well prepared for this week's flood. The river has jumped its banks several times in the past decade.

Copyright 2011 Northwest Public Radio

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.