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Okanogan County Officials Warn People To Stay Away From Rushing Water

Okanogan County Emergency Management

Okanogan County officials are warning people to stay away from the Okanogan River because of safety concerns.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office has closed the river to recreational activities, including boating or swimming. It’s asking people to stay as far away from rushing waters as they can and warns that people who fall in can easily be swept away, hit by debris or suffer hypothermia because of the water temperature. Officials say people who are placing sandbags to protect their property should wear lifejackets just in case.

With the unusually warm temperatures this week, the snowmelt and flooding have intensified. Weather forecasters say some rivers and creeks have yet to hit their peak levels and won’t for a few more days.

Authorities say they continue to receive help from outside agencies to reinforce the work done by local volunteers.

So far, no evacuation orders have been issued. The Red Cross is there to help residents who may be displaced.

Several roads in the county have been closed because of flooding or mudslides.

County officials will hold a public meeting tonight [Tuesday] at 6 at Okanogan High School and tomorrow night [Wednesday] at 6:30 at Oroville High School to brief residents on the most recent flood-related information.