Snoqualmie Valley hit hard
by Lisa Allen
Last week's flooding came just as residents hard hit from the November flood were beginning to recover. By the end of last week, 75 roads in King County were closed due to water over the roadway, washouts, or mudslides.
According to King County Public Works officials, road crews continue working around-the-clock to monitor levees, clear culverts and drainage canals, and repair and reopen roads.
As flood waters recede, engineers will assess damage and look for potential safety hazards. A cost estimate and schedule for repairs should be available this week. By 1 p.m. last Friday, King County had received 4,640 calls from citizens asking for help from flooding and mudslides.
"Engineers are out now inspecting roads and bridges and giving priority to repairs needed to protect the safety of people," said King County Road Services Division Manager Jesse Krail last week. "It appears that we will have 25-30 large repair projects and literally hundreds of smaller projects once rivers stop flooding."
The Snoqualmie River crested at Carnation at 9 a.m. last Friday at 59.93 feet, nearly six feet above flood stage. Both the Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers reached a Phase 4 flood stage.
By Friday afternoon, President Clinton had issued a disaster declaration for 13 counties in the state.
Water rose rapidly in Carnation, cutting off access to the town, but no rescues were needed.
Fire District 10 officials said the Carnation Farm Road appeared to have suffered heavy damage and may be closed for some time. Another road closed indefinitely as of Friday is the Fay Road north of Carnation, blocked by a mudslide.
In Duvall, city hall and fire district employees were kept busy answering phone calls regarding the status of the Woodinville-Duvall Road, which was threatened with imminent closure but remained open as of press time Friday.
On higher ground, the Highland Grove development cul de sac near Cedarcrest High School filled with water when the drain system proved inadequate for the volume of rain, converting these houses into waterfront property. Before the city was able to start pumping it out, water had reached to the top steps of these homes.
To report damage estimates, residents are asked to call King County's Flood Damage Information Line at (206) 205-5355 or 1-800-523-5044.
King County will accept flood debris free-of-charge at several transfer stations and drop boxes until Feb. 20. Call (206) 296-6542.