With all the snowfall this year a huge concern going forward will be what will happen when everything melts? If you're a resident of West Richland, this concern is nothing new. Almost every year when the spring thaw starts, the Yakima River rises and causes minor to major flooding. This year with record snowfalls, the fear is that the flooding will be even worse than in years past. Below is a video of flooding from 2011, and that year didn't see nearly the snow levels that we've seen this year. Here are some tips for how residents can prepare for flooding, and after the flood:

  • Know your flood risk.
  • Make a flood emergency plan.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

Be safe out there as the snows start to melt, and please take care of pets, children, and if you have elderly neighbors, check on them to make sure they have a plan as well.