YAKIMA VALLEY - As a result of quickly melting snow, the National Weather Service is predicting the Naches and Yakima rivers will exceed flood stage levels this weekend and into next week.
The Naches River is predicted to crest in excess of three feet above flood stage just west of Naches.
The Yakima River is predicted to crest just over one and a half feet above flood stage at Parker.
Jim Hall, Director of the Yakima Valley Office of Emergency Management, said in a press release, "With these fluid predictions we anticipate areas with water levels not seen since the flood of 1996. However, this is a different flood and hard to predict."
Hall said in the press release that the source of the high water is from high elevation snow melt and not the normal lower elevation snow melt and or rain that swell small streams and tributaries.
"We have had a cool spring so far with this weekend bringing our first warm weather," Hall stated in the release. "If the predictions are correct, we will see significant high water."
What the high water will affect or damage will be determined as the situation develops, he said.
Hall said in the release that individuals must take responsibility for their property and prepare for the potential event. "People who live near or must go near these rivers are cautioned to use common sense and have an escape plan ready if the situation changes, which it can quickly (do) on a local basis."
He also cautioned against swimming in the river.