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Flood & River Information


Changes to Flood Stages for the Yakima River

With damage from recent years' flooding along the Yakima River in Richland, West Richland and Benton City still fresh in the minds of many, Benton County Emergency Management is announcing changes in how flooding is measured in this area.

Click here for more information about the changes.  Published December 1, 2010

Click here for NWS definitions of Flood Stage and Flood Categories.

Click here for information about flood insurance.

For current river levels and forecasts, click here


 
 
When floodwaters rise, is your home at risk?  Now is the time to find out and takes steps to protect your property, before the water is at your doorstep.
 
Current and prospective homeowners should contact their city or county planning department to help assess their flood risk.
 
The Flood Smart website, operated by FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, can also help you rate your risk and learn how to protect yourself.
 
FEMA's Map Service Center also has neighborhood-specific floodplain information.

The National Weather Service tracks current river levels.  This link takes you to information about the Kiona gauge at Benton City.
 
 
 
 
Preparing for a Flood

Find out if you live in a flood-prone area.

Determine if you should have flood insurance.
 
Discuss evacuation plans with family members.
 
Know where your main electrical box is and how to shut off the main breaker.
 
If you use well water, find out how to protect the wellhead.  Know how to shut off your household water source.
 
If you have animals, plan for their safety.
 

When a flood is aproaching

  • If flash flood is likely, move immediately to higher ground
  • Listen to KONA 610 AM and 105.3 FM for emergency broadcasts and updated information
  • Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or services are cut off
  • If authorities issue a flood watch, prepare to evacuate
  • Secure your home.  If time permits, secure items outside your home
  • If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches and valves
  • Fill you car with fuel
  • Stay away from flood waters and moving water.  Moving water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet
  • Move animals to higher ground
 
 

After a flood

  • Be aware of areas where flood waters have receded and may have weakened road surfaces
  • Check with your electric company before turning on your main breaker
  • Stay away from and report downed power lines
  • Consider health and safety needs.  Wash your hands frequently with soap and clean water if you come into contact with flood waters
  • Throw away food that has come into contact with flood waters or has been without refrigeration
  • Boil well water for 3-5 minutes before consuming it until a satisfactory bacterial analysis has been obtained
  • To protect on-site sewage systems, do not use sinks, showers and toilets until the ground has dried
  • Call your insurance agent
  • Take photos or videotape your belongings and your home to document damage and repairs
  • Keep an inventory of all damaged goods
  • Dry out your home and buildings as quick as possible
  • Discard materials that are wet and cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried
 
More Information
For more information, visit these websites: