Snow poses trouble for Kittitas County residents, threatens to cause flooding

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Law enforcement and public agencies in Kittitas County are keeping a close eye on the remaining snow and ice that continue to pose trouble for residents of their area. To make matters more difficult, melting snow may cause flooding in certain areas of the county.

According to a Monday afternoon alert from the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, the county’s Department of Public Works is still tasked with clearing large quantities of remaining snow from public roadways. Plus, many private roads and driveways remain covered in snow, which threatens to pose trouble later on.

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Kittitas County leaders formed plans that began to be implemented once the snow started falling on January 5. First responders used snowmobiles, tracked UTV’s and patrol vehicles to evacuate endangered community members, bring medication to at-risk individuals, respond to medical emergencies and investigate crimes.

In one extreme instance, 35 people had to be evacuated from an apartment building in Roslyn. Authorities say that snow threatened the building’s structural integrity, which endangered all of the structure’s occupants. They were relocated to a temporary shelter in Cle Elum, according to Kittitas County deputies.

RELATED: Mid-Columbia braces for snowfall — Winter Storm Warning issued for Jan. 5 and 6

County officials offered the following comments during their release on Monday:

The residents of Kittitas County have stepped up to meet one another’s needs. We ask that they continue to find ways to help friends and loved ones, neighbors, and others who need assistance. We’ve heard great stories of people looking for opportunities to help those who are stuck, stranded, or scared. Keep looking out for one another, and if you need us, call us—we’re always here!

READ: Snowmobile and pickup truck stolen from Leavenworth recovered in Kittitas County after Christmas

The next danger that officials will track is the potential of flooding in the near future. If citizens don’t check their downspouts and move dense snow into areas it can safely melt, high waters may prevail.

Governor Jay Inslee placed Washington in a State of Emergency. If flooding does occur and creates substantial damage for the community, county leaders can declare a state of emergency to try and receive aid in the form of money and resources.

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