Frozen Yakima River Could Cause Some Minor Flooding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Frozen Yakima River Could Cause Some Minor Flooding

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Parts of the Yakima River are filled with ice right now thanks to a recent cold snap. Parts of the Yakima River are filled with ice right now thanks to a recent cold snap.

WEST RICHLAND, WA - Parts of the Yakima River are filled with ice right now thanks to a recent cold snap. 

"Just ice moving. You can hear it a little bit. Moving and cracking. Reminds me a lot of Alaska. So it's pretty cool to see it here," said Shawn Silva who had stopped along Van Giesen to see it. 

Van Giesen heading to West Richland was busy on Wednesday with not just cars, but sight seers, as well.

"Brought my daughter down here the last couple days to look a the frozen water and show her how much it's coming up. A lot more. I remember a few years ago it was on top of the road here," said Silva.

"Because of the cold weather we've had over the last week or so, we're getting some ice in the river which is flowing downriver and it just jams things up and the water's building behind it. So we're getting a little bit of moderate flooding," said Benton County Emergency Manager Jeremy Beck.

Emergency Management is closely monitoring the Yakima River as the ice has reached the banks in some places and already caused some minor flooding.

"It was no problem until this morning when I came out and saw the water right at the edge of the culdesac. Once I see water there, I know that I need to start worrying a little bit," said Jack Hoobler, who has a home on the banks of the Yakima River.

Hoobler is no stranger to flooding problems.

"I've watched it this afternoon it's coming up. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. Make sure that if we do have to react, we're out here able to do something in a hurry," said Hoobler.

As this 'heat wave' continues, there is a flood watch in effect, at least through Wednesday night, for the low-lying areas of Benton City, West Richland and Richland.

"Just try to keep an eye on it. Work with the weather service and the responders to make sure that no one's in danger, no one's in harm's way," said Beck.

"From the looks of it, if it doesn't get but another foot, foot and a half higher, I'm safe. If it were to get about three feet higher, that wouldn't be good, but I think we're okay with warming temperatures," said Hoobler.

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