It started Thursday morning. The water started flowing into the Lake Aspen neighborhood and police and city crews responded. Yakima Police spokesman Mike Bastinelli says officers were called to the housing area on River Road at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning. "We first had to evacuate 11 homes and about 15 people."

But the water kept flowing into the neighborhood all day, eventually swamping homes and forcing more evacuations including an evacuation of the 40-unit Lake Aspen Apartments early Thursday night.
City crews worked Thursday and overnight to stop the flow of water. The water came from a broken dyke on Cowiche Creek that flooded the 40th and Fruitvale area on Wednesday. That water was was diverted to Myron Lake which then flowed into Willow Lake and eventually into Lake Aspen forcing evacuations in the neighborhood. The water eventually flowed East to North 16th Avenue forcing the evacuation of the apartments and closing a lane of North 16th Avenue near River Road. Today city crews will work to contain the water in the Lake Aspen neighborhood.

Here's the latest road closure report from the city of Yakima:

  • The 40th Avenue and Fruitvale Boulevard intersection has been reopened -- and the Highway 12 ramps at 40th Avenue are open now.
  • River Road between 20th and Sixth avenues remains closed to all traffic. Only one lane of traffic in each direction on 16th Avenue between River Road and Highway 12 is being allowed.
  • All other road closures and traffic modifications associated with the previous closure of 40th Avenue and Fruitvale Boulevard have been alleviated.