Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn everyone of the extreme danger the Spokane River poses due to its extremely high flow rate and frigid temperature. Please stay off/out of the Spokane River.
It is understandable people are drawn to the Spokane River to see for themselves the historic amount of water flowing down it but the fast moving and very cold water is a very serious safety concern.
The river is full of debris being carried downstream and the banks are full or overrun causing trees, brush, rocks and other obstacles to “strain” the rushing water and have an extreme amount of force pushing against them that could easily trap a victim. When the very cold temperatures of the snow runoff is added to this, making hypothermia an almost immediate factor, anyone who enters the water will be in a fight for their life; a fight they probably won’t survive.
Stay out of the water. Make sure you maintain a safe distance and if you happen to decide to disregard this warning or have a reason you must venture near the river, please wear a PDF (personal flotation device) as a precaution. Accidents happen and the state of the river right now is causing very unpredictable conditions.
Make the right choice, stay safe and stay away from the Spokane River.
The Spokane Board of County Commissioners and the Spokane Valley City Council are currently considering emergency declarations to temporarily close access to the Spokane River due to the danger to the public.
Deputy Mark Gregory
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office
Spokane Valley Police Department
Public Information Officer