SEATTLE, Wash. -- Snowpack levels remain well above normal on both sides of the Cascades and are expected to build this week as the snow lines drop. High snowpacks and warmer Spring weather can signal serious flooding - particularly in eastern Washington, and emergency managers are eyeing the Columbia, Spokane, Yakima, Okanogan, Wenatchee and Pend Oreille rivers as high risk areas. According to FEMA regional mitigation chief Carl Cook, the good news is that flood insurance is available through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bad news is that National Flood Insurance Policies take 30 days to become effective.
"The very best protection for businesses and homeowners at risk from seasonal flooding is a combination of prudent mitigation and preparedness, and National Flood Insurance," said Cook. "You don't have to live in a floodplain to qualify for (or need) flood insurance. It's affordable, and available through any licensed insurance agent or broker."
The Northwest River Forecast Center reports the Clark Fork, Pend Oreille and Flathead river basins all at over 116 percent above normal, with the Coeur d'Alene, Similkameen, Okanogan, Chelan, Yakima and Skagit basins at between 135 to 143 percent above normal.