The water keeps rising
Melting snow, rain and warming temperatures have pushed Inland Northwest rivers, streams and creeks over their banks.
Some old-timers say they have never seen these current high-water marks. Still other long-time residents are reminded of some heavy flooding in the late 90s.
At any rate, the water table around Northeast Washington is inordinately high.
Longtime Stevens County Fire District 2 fire chief Rick Anderson said he’s never seen muddy, roiling Hunters Creek this high.
“Some old-timers say they haven’t seen the creek (Hunters Creek) this high,” Anderson said on Saturday as he and fellow firefighters slogged through their flooded fire- house in Hunters.
Several inches of water from an angry creek over its banks flooded the station last Wednesday.
“We have island property and we’re homeless,” Anderson quipped. “The creek started running over its banks Wednesday night and ran up against the building.”
The last time the water was up that high was in 1996 and 2000, Anderson said.
Crews were able to get the fire-fighting rigs out of the building safely.
“We put two of the four (vehicles) in my driveway and the other two under cover at the public works department building (in Hunters),” Anderson added, noting there is extensive damage to the building that will mean “a pretty good-sized insurance bill.”
Late last week, Anderson recruited about 15 Columbia School (high school) students who helped fill and place around 600 sandbags in Hunters on Friday.
Much of the Hunters Creek flooding is attributable to the Carpenter Road fire that destroyed thousands of acres of timber two summers ago in the worst series of wildland blazes the region has ever experienced.
Read the full story in the March 22 edition of the Statesman-Examiner, which is available online through e-editions (http://www.statesmanexaminer.com/subscriptions).