Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Flood - USA (Seattle) DEC

SEATTLE – More than 5.8 billion gallons of rain fell Monday, on what city officials call the second wettest day in Seattle history.

News by NBC

Early Tuesday morning, Seattle Public Utilities had 31 crews responding to areas worst hit, including Seattle's Meadowbrook area, where a fast-moving, overflowing creek caused extensive flooding.

Residents in north Seattle were busy cleaning up after 3 feet of water invaded some homes and businesses, including Pioneer Building Supply, where workers were shoveling out debris. They say everything was destroyed except for the computers - which they managed to save.

"We were here about 9:30 a.m. and it just got unsafe," said Gary Corum, spokesperson. "The whole street was submerged."

Golden Gardens Drive at View Ave NW remains closed until spring due to a collapsed roadway, and Sounder service between Everett and Seattle was cancelled Tuesday morning because of mudslides over the tracks.

Woodinville as one of the worst areas hit, after Little Bear Creek spilled over the banks Monday.

At the height of the storm, 14 roads were closed in Woodinville, including Highway 522.

While many residents say the heavy rain would have caused flooding no matter what, some are blaming a tree stump and debris for blocking a culvert in the creek and making the situation worse.

Steve Body says the flood wiped out his specialty wine shop, called VinElla.

"It's done; we're out of business," he said. "We just grabbed everything and took it to higher ground."

He says at the peak of the storm, the store was under 4 inches of mud and water. He blames raging Little Bear and the stump, which he says sat in the creek, unmoved, until Mother Nature came calling.

"God knows what was upstream, as strong as the water was, something could have floated down from a mile up there," he said. "But at least was what right here was that stump, and when the water got deep and fast enough, that stump was gonna float like a wooden thing will."

A spokesperson for the Woodinville city manager couldn't comment on the stump, or who or what agency was responsible for the creek maintenance. But the city will be looking into any and all causes for the flooding.

By mid-day Tuesday, all roads were open in Woodinville, except for part of Highway 522.

Highway 522 was closed in one lane eastbound after the Little Bear clawed away a 10-by-5 foot chunk of its eastbound shoulder.

"Once it got underneath the asphalt, it undermined that," said Jim McBride, of the Department of Transportation.

"In 95-96 we had a storm event that took out the same section and it was a little more extensive than this time," McBridge said.

That repair will take a couple days to complete, but Body says his store can't be fixed.

"People said it wasn't like going to a wine shop - it was like drinking wine with friends in your living room ... I'm not going to be able to talk about it anymore ... it's bad," he said. - Source

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