SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – Spokane Public Works officials have closed several roads around the county due to washouts, and the Spokane County Commissioners declared a state of emergency due to the road issues.
Officials said Harvard Road has been closed between Stringham Road and Elder Road. A detour is in place from Elder Road to Molter Road then onto Stringham Road.
Stoughton Road between Larkin Road and Darknell Road is also closed. A detour is in place from Stoughton to Madison Road and from the Palouse highway to Darknell Road.
Randall Road at Madison Road is also closed. A detour is set up from Madison to Sillman Road and Randall Road to Sillman Road. Chapman Road is shut down from 14711 South Chapman Road to Highway 27 and Roberts Road from Waverly Cut Off Road to Kelso Road. There are no detours in place in those two areas.
Cheney-Plaza road between Patterson toad and Wells Road is also closed due to high water and a washout. Watt Road and north Spangle Road to Yale Road is shut down. There are also no detours in place for these two areas.
Palouse Road between US-27 and Jackson is also closed.
The emergency declaration will allow the Public Works Department to obtain emergency supplies and equipment to mitigate the flood damage to roads and bridges.
This section of Stoughton Road has been blocked off due to this washout. pic.twitter.com/5eC2inc1xI— Bre Clark (@KREMBre) February 16, 2017
Most of the road closures are in the southeast quadrant of the county.
"We have five road closures, that's why we're doing it," explained Martha Lou, from the county. "We need to be able to get emergency equipment and supplies. We don't know how bad the damage is going to be yet because the water is so high."
She said the warmer temperatures combined with the rain and snow melt have caused the flooding.
"Gravel roads are extremely soft right now, we have gravel and paved roads where the shoulders are essentially crumbling," Lou said. "For heaven's sakes, we can't guarantee the integrity of the road surface underneath [the water]."
Lou asked that drivers be smart about the floodwaters, and stay away from flooded roads.
"Based on what I’ve heard in meetings and seen out in the field, we’re probably looking at several hundred thousand dollars of damage to the county road facilities," said Rich Reister, the Public Works Director and county engineer. "That doesn’t include anything from private properties, or the city."
He said they did not have a great idea yet of the total costs or damages, but crews were out Thursday in "assessment mode."