Rain of terror: Images from Thursday's deluge


It wasn't just the quantity of last night's rainfall that was brutal. It was the quality. It was hard rain, the kind that punches you in top of your the head. It was the sort of precipitation that pounded petunias into a puddle of petals.

"The water was so intense that it was pulling down lots of pine needles into the streets,"  says city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. "It ripped all the blooms off the trees."

The needles knocked loose from the trees ended up clogging drains across the city.


The city's headworks, the wastewater treatment plant's screens that filter out "pine needles and crapola," Feist says, were clogged as well.

A flood of dirt, rock and debris shut down T.J. Meenach Bridge until midnight. At Francis and Cannon, Feist says, vehicles got stranded because they were so deep. The Post Street hill was closed briefly because so much water was pooling at the bottom. The accumulation of water at Fifth and Maple/Walnut ended up backing up southbound traffic all the way across the Maple Street Bridge.

The city's wastewater strategy has been to engineer the streets, sidewalks nearby into spaces that slowly soak up water — using gravel, grass and vegetation — instead of overwhelming the system by sending a deluge of dirty water into the city's sewers. But engineering can only do so much.

"Our tanks are not designed to handle this flow," Feist says. "An inch in 20 minutes is not something you can build something big enough to handle."

Of the city's 23 combined sewer overflow tanks, Feist says, 10 overflowed. By now, Feist says, the city's wastewater management crews have unplugged most of the drains and vacuumed up the standing water. Rain is forecasted to continue today. But this, at least, is at the level they can handle.


I'd planned on going on a long bike ride after work yesterday. Instead, I rode my bike home through Kendall Yards and Peaceful Valley and snapped a few photos along the way.

You know what I could really go for right now? Ice cream.


Mudslide in Peaceful Valley

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

In Spokane, puddle stomps
you

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge A cup floats in a muddle puddle stretching across the Centennial Trail. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
A cup floats in a muddle puddle stretching across the Centennial Trail.
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge Sign checks out. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Sign checks out.


A bad day to bike home
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

The most Indie Movie moment I've ever seen in Spokane
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

A rain delay? Cowards.
click to enlarge At Redband Park in Peaceful Valley, sliding into second has never been easier. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
At Redband Park in Peaceful Valley, sliding into second has never been easier.
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo

A few pretentious closeups for your Tumblr
click to enlarge Rain pounds the Inlander coffee table. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Rain pounds the Inlander coffee table.
click to enlarge A little rain is good for flowers. But too much can kill it. Really makes you think, huh? - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
A little rain is good for flowers. But too much can kill it. Really makes you think, huh?
click to enlarge Water drip-drip drops from the Inlander sign. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Water drip-drip drops from the Inlander sign.
click to enlarge A pipe projectile-vomits out water at the Inlander building. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
A pipe projectile-vomits out water at the Inlander building.
click to enlarge An umbrella only works if you open it. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
An umbrella only works if you open it.

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About The Author

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...