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STATE PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD EMERGENCY

 STATE PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD EMERGENCY
 OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- State agencies are making


initial preparations to assist communities which could be affected by rising rivers during the next few days.
 Heavy rain is causing many rivers in the Western Washington to rise near flood stage. The National Weather Service at 10 a.m. today issued a flood warning for the Chehalis River. The river is expected to reach flood stage of 65 feet at 8 p.m., and crest at 66 feet Wednesday morning.
 Other rivers the weather service says could reach flood stage if rainfall overnight is heavy include the Skookumchuck River in Lewis County, the Cedar and Snoqualmie rivers in King County, and the Skagit River in Skagit County.
 The Washington State Department of Community Development's Emergency Management Division has been assisting the weather service in notifying affected counties of actual or anticipated weather and river conditions. Department staff have been contacting state agencies, including the State Military Department and the Governor's Office, to lay the groundwork for a possible state emergency response. This includes activating and providing overnight staffing for the State Emergency Operations Center in Olympia to stay abreast of changing conditions and coordinating state response activities, and sending staff from the State Military Department to affected counties.
 People living or working in river valleys of Western Washington should be aware of rapid rises in the rivers, and be prepared to take action to protect family members and property. The State Department of Community Development provides the following advice to persons who live or work in river valleys prone to flooding:
 - Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for
 the latest information on river levels in your area,
 and other instructions from local officials.
 - Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding. Move to a
 safe area before your access is cut off by flood
 water. If you live or work in low-lying areas, plan
 a safe evacuation route out of the area.
 - If you are caught in your building by rapidly rising
 waters, call 911 or your local fire district for help.
 - Watch for flooding at highway dips, bridges, and low
 areas. Do not drive over a flooded road and through
 water of unknown depth. If your vehicle stalls,
 abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
 Rapidly rising water may sweep the vehicle and its
 occupants away.
 - Do not walk or wade in flooded areas.
 -0- 1/28/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Stewart of the Washington State Department of Community Development, Emergency Management Division, 206-438-7737 (for media use only)/ CO: Washington State Department of Community Development ST: Washington IN: SU:


LM -- SE013 -- 4404 01/28/92 16:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 28, 1992
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