• Emergency permits available to protect property threatened by high water in eastern Washington

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    Officials with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a news release Wednesday that "emergency permits are now available to public and private landowners who need to conduct in-stream work to protect their properties from high water throughout eastern Washington." 

    On May 11, Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in three counties in eastern Washington: Ferry, Pend Oreille and Okanogan.

    >> Read more: Flooding in Eastern Washington reaches emergency level

    Inslee said recent rains and snow melt has caused the flooding, which has fouled water and sewage treatment facilities, threatened state highways and local roads and caused some people to leave their homes.

    Inslee says continued higher temperatures are predicted to increase snow melt and cause additional flooding as rivers and streams continue to rise to record or near record levels.

    "State law requires WDFW to review all planned work that could disturb the bed or natural flow of streams and rivers before the department issues a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permit, designed to ensure the work doesn't harm fish or fish habitat," WDFW said in the news release.

    The HPA review process can take up to 45 days, but during flood emergencies the permits can be issued as soon as the day of "if there is an immediate threat to people, property, or the environment," according to WDFW.

    For more information on how to receive a permit click here


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