Flooding encircles Lake Stevens and Granite FallsResidents in both cities were spared this time
Rivers have been flooding all over Western Washington, so badly in fact, that major roads and highways in Snohomish, Monroe, Arlington and Everett were closed, but somehow Lake Stevens and Granite Falls have both been able to stay moderately dry.
“Snohomish County has been hit hard by this week’s floods, with rivers reaching 1990 levels,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon following an aerial survey of flooded areas. “While the rain has diminished, much of the danger still remains.”
There have been a couple of road closures within the city of Lake Stevens, including 20th Street NE, 18th Street, the Loop Road and Hartford Drive. All but Hartford Drive were closed for under 24 hours.
“We are fortunate here in Lake Stevens,” Dave Ostergaard, Public Works Director for the City of Lake Stevens said. “Hartford Drive has 12 to 14 inches of water over it because of the creek and a couple of tributaries coming together in that general area.”
In Granite Falls, where floodwaters crippled many homeowners in 2007, only Bogart Road and East Galena had to close down.
“The closures were mainly caused by overflowing retention ponds,” a spokesperson at Granite Falls City Hall said.
One of the biggest concerns was Lake Stevens Sewer District’s Waste Water Treatment Plant along Sunnyside Blvd. where flooding has been a huge problem in year’s past. So far, so good, according to Sewer District Manager, Darwin Smith.
“We’re skimming by right now, fortunately,” Smith said. “There has been a lot of big, high flow, it came awfully close, that’s why we need to get this thing out of the flood plain.”
Near the Waste Water Treatment Plant sits Ebey Island where residents were told to evacuate last Thursday night, fearing that the Snohomish River would rise over the dikes flooding the island.
Officials with the Snohomish County Diking District No. 1 decided not to sandbag a 20-by-5-foot breach in the Ebey Island Slough Dike. Residents were strongly urged to evacuate. However, water was seeping onto the island at a slower pace than initially anticipated. Residents were told to prepare for as many as five days away from home.
“Snohomish County Public Works initially planned to distribute 10,000 sandbags at the breachlocated on the east side of the Snohomish River, about a half mile south of Highway 2with help from the diking district and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” officials said.
“Early Friday morning, the Corps sent a mix of rock to the breach location to repair Thursday night’s breach,” officials said. “Work on the dike took about 24 hours to complete, with further, more permanent improvements likely needed this spring or summer.”
Despite the repair work, residents were still encouraged to evacuate via Highway 2 westbound.
For now, Lake Stevens and Granite Falls residents can breath of sigh of relief that they were spared from the flood waters this time.