Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Major flooding spills the Stillaguamish into G.F.


January 10, 2011

Rains came down so quick and hard during the weekend of December 11 and 12 that the Stillaguamish River couldn’t hold it all. Water flowed over roadways and into homes as the river crested early Monday morning. Record flood levels were cited for the Stillaguamish with the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River at Granite Falls entering flood stage near 11 a.m. Sunday, cresting at over 18 feet before malfunctioning which is 4.13 feet above flood stage.

Over 200 homes and businesses were requested to voluntarily evacuate their premises by the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) for safety reasons.

East Engbretson Road was closed at 17100 Ave. SE while waiting for waters to recede.

On Sunday afternoon, helicopters flew over the river to assess the situation from the air.

“Aerial views signal there is work to be done assessing damages to homes, businesses and public infrastructure,” Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon said. “But it also shows that the county’s preparations for this event limited the amount of damages that could have occurred.”

Snohomish County Public Works delivered more than 1,100 yards of sand and 5,000 bags to communities hit hardest by the flooding including Granite Falls.

Sandbagging decreased flooding impacts, as did reverse 911 calls through the county’s MyStateUSA system. Snohomish County Sheriff’s officials also credit the MyStateUSA calls with limiting the need for rescues.

Executive Reardon issued an emergency declaration to respond to flooding throughout the area.

The emergency declaration freed up county resources for quicker response to flooding impacts and helped the county document damages for federal reporting.

Reardon said record flood levels on parts of the Stillaguamish River, as well as concerns on the Snohomish and Skykomish rivers, led to the signing.

“We must protect public safety during these floods, and an emergency declaration enhances the efforts we already are making,” Reardon said.

Snohomish County residents hit by floods can dispose of water-damaged household goods free of charge at Snohomish County solid-waste facilities.

The fee waiver, proposed by Executive Reardon, was approved by the County Council.

“This allows us to act quickly to provide vouchers for waste disposal,” Reardon said. “Providing help for early cleanup allows our residents to get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Disposal fees will be waived for flood-damaged residential waste at the county’s transfer stations and at the county’s drop boxes in Granite Falls.

The free collection will end Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

Residents first need to obtain a voucher before taking materials to the transfer station or drop box. Be sure to get a list of items that will be accepted.


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