If you haven’t been watching the news, the Pacific Northwest was hit by a big storm system this week. Some areas of the Oregon cost saw wind speeds close to 130 mph. The city of Bremerton received nearly 10 inches of rain in a 24 hour period and several local rivers have reached or exceeded flood stage. One of the worst has been the Chehalis river between the towns of Chehalis and Centralia. Although we are high and dry at the house, my wife has been greatly affected by the flooding. Interstate 5 has been closed at her exit due to 8 feet (or more) of water standing on the freeway. The Kmart likely had 2 feet of water inside the store.
With I-5 closed there is only a few ways to get a down to Chehalis. If you don’t know the back roads the only way is to follow the DOT’s suggested detour which is about 440 miles and 7 hours of driving (in good weather). The back ways are only 1.5 to 2 hours.
We decided to take a drive down and see what kind of damage the Pharmacy received. Here are a few of the pictures.
Chamber Way exit looking north. This is the place were I-5 is under 8 feet of water. The overpass is just over 14 feet high. There are floating manufactured homes on the rite side, and Kmart and Wall-mart are under water on the left.
Chehalis Kmart with water up to the doors. The cars are parked next to the sidewalk. It is suppose to be a few days before my wife can get back into the Pharmacy to start the cleanup. Luckily they thought to lift computers and sensative stuff off the floor and place on the counter.
For you river watchers, by favorite site is the US Army Corps of Engineers river basin web site. Here you can view the current stage of all the major rivers in Washington. On many, it also has rainfall rates at the headwaters. If you have a favorite source, please post up a comment.