Emily Schwing

Inland Northwest Correspondent

Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio's programs like ''Morning Edition'' and ''All things Considered.'' She has also filed for Public Radio International’s ''The World,'' American Public Media's ''Marketplace,'' and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.

Emily got her start in radio as an intern at KUER-FM 90 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also pursued internship opportunities at National Public Radio and Deutsche Welle Radio in Bonn, Germany. After graduating with a Geology degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, she went on to study Natural Resource Management at the graduate level at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

When she is not chasing down quirky news stories, you can find her off the beaten path skiing, biking or running in the backcountry with her long-time canine companion, Ghost. Emily also has 300 hours' worth of certified interdisciplinary training in Hatha Yoga from the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica.

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Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Residents of the Okanogan Valley have been battling floodwaters for more than a week. But floods are not a new thing here. There have been two major floods in previous decades.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning in Okanogan County as slow moving storms could bring heavy rain to the region. 
Eleven rivers in north central and eastern Washington state are already near flood stage or higher.

Emily Schwing / n

Emergency crews have been preparing for high water in Washington state's Okanogan Valley since early in the month. The Okanogan River hasn’t even crested yet, but they’re already starting to think about what happens when the flood is over.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Emergency management officials are trying to protect drinking water systems throughout the Okanogan Valley from flood water contamination.

Emily Schwing/Northwest News Network

Crews with the Washington Department of Transportation have been working for two days to fortify a stretch of U.S. Highway 97 threatened by the rising Okanogan River.

A few days ago, there were a few small piles of sandbags, some cones and a sign warned drivers to slow down at Milepost 313.

Now, traffic is whittled down to a single lane as crews work to spread piles of sand along the shoulder on both sides of the road. Small, brown sandbags line the roadsides. A front loader moves massive piles of giant white sandbags that are each half the size of a small station wagon.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Throughout north central and northeastern Washington state, residents are preparing for the worst. Rivers are already full and they’re expected to rise even farther as more flood water makes its way down from Canada.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

It’s been a busy day along Highway 97 near Tonasket, Washington, as trucks haul sand and sandbags to communities that could be affected by extreme flooding along the Okanogan River. The river first crested last Saturday.

But residents are bracing for more.

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Volunteers joined emergency crews this week to brace for the possibility of major flooding on a number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington state.

The combination of a near-record snowpack in southern British Columbia and temperatures soaring into the upper 80s has caused flood watches starting at the U.S.-Canada border running south along the Okanogan River.

Correspondent Emily Schwing is on the scene and sent back these photos.

  

Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

A number of rivers in north central and eastern Washington are in imminent danger of flooding. That’s because spring temperatures have soared into the upper 80s and Canada’s near record snowpack is melting fast.

Flooding hasn’t been this bad in the Okanogan Valley since 1972. This week, forecasters say, it could get close to breaking that record.

Okanogan County Fire District Commissioner Jack Denison said that’s a “worst case scenario.”

Emily Schwing/Northwest News Network

Towns in central and northeast Washington are under flood watches as rivers swell from rapid snowmelt in the mountains.

In the small Washington border town of Oroville, the Okanogan River is above flood stage and the river is expected to begin flooding south as the week progresses.

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