WEST RICHLAND — The Yakima River crested about a half-foot lower than expected, but it still was enough to close some roads around Benton County.
Water covered the westbound lanes of Van Giesen Street in Richland and part of the eastbound lanes.
Traffic was still getting through -- slowly -- with eastbound vehicles driving on the shoulder and westbound cars diverted to what would normally be an eastbound lane. Motorists also had to drive through water for about 100 feet.
North 46th Avenue in West Richland and side roads off Van Giesen were also closed, and the Richland School District was forced to switch to alternate bus routes because of the closures.
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The river at the Kiona gauge in Benton City crested at 15.51 feet early Wednesday. It had gone down to 14.72 feet by 7 p.m. and was expected to fall below the 13-foot flood stage on Friday.
The river had been predicted to crest around 16 feet, causing major flooding.
The West Richland Golf Course likely suffered the most, with 17 of the 18 greens under water Wednesday morning.
"This is the worst we've seen in a long time," said groundskeeper Oscar Contreras. "This is the third time. Man, it's a nightmare."
Once the water starts receding, Contreras said they will use pumps to get the rest off the course and hope to have the whole course open in about two weeks. The front nine holes, which are on higher ground, could be open by Monday, he said.
In Benton City, the Beach RV Park was flooded -- which was not a surprise for residents -- but the water was higher and moving fast across Second Avenue.
Nick Roberson, who lives in an RV right near Second Avenue, wasn't fazed much by the mini waterfall that formed hear his home.
He had an ATV parked by his front steps, which allowed him to leave his RV without getting wet.
Robin McFeeters, who has been staying at the park since March, was slightly shocked, but mostly amused by the sight of flood waters covering the spot where her RV had been.
"I moved my trailer to high ground," she said with a laugh. "I said, 'No, I'm not riding out this flood.' "
McFeeters is from Illinois and works at Hanford. She moved her RV to a friend's house and drove to the RV park to see what she missed.
"This is wild," she said as she snapped pictures.
That was a common occurrence around both towns Wednesday as people stopped on bridges and near flooded streets to take photos of the spring flood.
It wasn't known Wednesday if many homes sustained any flood damage, but at least one Richland resident spent the day pumping water out of her basement.
K'Lyn Smith, who filled sandbags at the Benton Fire District 4 fire station on Tuesday, said her family's attempt to build a barrier for the flood waters failed.
About 4 inches of water filled her basement, she said. They had more than 9 inches of water covering the outside wall of her basement, which meant they got more water than they did when the area flooded in 2009.
"We're on a small little island now," she said, but added, "it could always be worse."