[7/20/16] Mud, Rock and Debris Flows Covered Several Roadways In 3 Counties

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Photos provided to KOZI by Sara Tupling

A series of thunderstorms swept through north central Washington early Tuesday evening, triggering mud, rock and debris flows– closing several roadways in Okanogan, Douglas and Chelan counties.

Just after 5 pm Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Spokane issued a flash flood warning for central Douglas County, Eastern Chelan County and Southern Okanogan County warning motorists and residents that high intensity rainfall may cause flash flooding, debris flow, mud slides and rock slides in and around the burn scars of the 2014 and 2015 wildfires.

The National Weather Service urged residents to move to higher ground immediately and act quickly to protect lives.

Though no injuries have been reported, heavy rains did result in mild to moderate flooding in several areas.

Rock slides covered parts of McNeil Canyon and Springs Canyon Roads in Douglas County for hours before crews cleared the roadway, reopening just before 8 pm.

Some residential flooding was also reported in the McNeil Canyon areas.

In Chelan County, heavy rainfall triggered a rock slide on Highway 97, about 6 miles north of Chelan with mud and debris blocking the road between mile post 220 and 221.

Traffic was detoured to Apple Acres Road for several hours until Highway 97 was re-opened at about 8:30 pm.

In Okanogan County, debris washed across Highway 20 between Twisp and Okanogan but WSDOT crews managed to keep the roadway open with just short delays for motorists traveling through the area.

There was a lot of lighting associate with the thunderstorms as they moved through the tri-county area, with firefighters responding to multiple reports of lightning strikes and possible smoke, however no actual fires starts were discovered.