What's going on

It’s been a week since the Chehalis Flood

It has been a week since the flooding hit full force in three Western Washington Counties. The water has receded from all major areas. I-5 opened to all traffic last Friday allowing freight and passenger traffic along the West Coasts major north south route. Everything should be getting back to normal, but for many of the residence the shock is just setting in.

In Lewis county many business are cleaning up and digging out.  Much of the debris affecting people is contaminated with farm waste, garbage and chemicals.  There is a concern for E.coli and the county has taken additional shipments of tetanus shots and are handing out fresh bottled water to people who have been without clean water for a week.

Some retailers are operating out of large parking lot tents providing basic necessities like socks and underwear, personal hygiene items, diapers and baby formula.  Others are rushing to clean up, hoping to reopen by the weekend.  Most business that had more than just the floor covered have realised a complete loss.

What's going on

2007 Chehalis Flood

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.

Hwy 6 interchange over I-5 at State street. SR 6 overpass to I-5 at State Street in Chehalis.

I-5 at Airport road Interstate 5 at Airport Rd in Chehalis. The freeway has been damaged (left area of photo) and the barriers moved.

I-5 at Airport road looking north I-5 at Airport Rd looking north.

Chamber Way exit from South Bound I-5Chamber 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 doorsChehalis 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.