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Heavy Spring Rain, Snowmelt Destroy Northeastern Washington Roads

Flooding washed out the road on Highway 395 near Kettle Falls, Washington.
Ferry County Sheriff's Office
Flooding washed out the road on Highway 395 near Kettle Falls, Washington.

The damage to roads in northeastern Washington caused by a deluge of water from snowmelt and heavy spring rain is significant enough to raise eyebrows at the federal level. 

A section of road near Kettle Falls on Highway 395 has completely collapsed. Crews had to build a detour around a giant crack that rendered a section of the Inchelium Highway along the Columbia River roughly 30 miles south of the Canadian border impassable. 

During a roundtable discussion in Colville, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told commissioners from Ferry and Pend Oreille counties she’d look for ways to respond to what emergency managers call ‘the worst flooding in decades.’ 

“Whether it’s in rural development, or FEMA or an infrastructure bill, I recognize you’re going to need some help,” McMorris Rodgers said.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville has issued a reservation-wide flood advisory. 

In mid-March, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in 20 Washington counties. It was extended to 22 counties March 31.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.