Emergency crews prepare for flooding as more snow is expected to pile up


    Emergency crews prepare for flooding as more snow is expected to pile up.

    YAKIMA, Wash.- It's in the streets, in the hills and on your homes.

    The snow is everywhere and Action News Storm Tracker Mike McCabe said even more is supposed to come in the next few days.

    “Be prepared. I would count on six to nine inches of snow through the weekend. Again, that total can be higher,” he said.

    Since it's still below freezing during the day, that snow is expected to stick around in those large piles you see all over town.

    Which has emergency management teams worried about what flood season is going to be like this year.

    Saying it can be as bad as 2017 when it seemed like half of Yakima was under water.

    “After this two-week cold spell, it's all on mother nature on what's going to happen. If we get rain or it starts warming up real quick like it did in January where we were in the 50s, it's going to cause a flooding event,” Emergency management Director Tony Miller said.

    Miller said the levees and safeguards within the city of Yakima are well maintained and should keep flooding to a minimum.

    But says areas near the Wide Hollow, Ahtanum and Cowiche creeks are going to be the most at risk when the snow starts to melt.

    “When we get the snow in the lower elevations they tend to flood more than some of the other creeks do,” Miller said.

    To be ready for what flooding season is going to be like, Miller said they're gathering sandbags.

    And a whole lot of them.

    “Emergency management, alone with some of the state bags, we have 80,000. The flood district has roughly around 49,000 sandbags,” he said.

    That's about 130,000 sandbags to help people keep water from entering their homes.

    Miller said they aren't handing them out just yet, but they'll be ready to distribute them when water levels start to rise.

    For more information on how to sign up for Alert Yakima and sandbags in the area.

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