Western Washington is experiencing heavy flooding. Unfortunately flooding is pretty common in that area. 2007 was the last major flood with the major damage south of Seattle near the Chehalis river. That time I-5 was closed for six days.
When last we spoke with our neighbors (Tuesday), the ranch and most of Marblemount is high if not dry. Lots of snow! Well over four feet on the ground. Our new porch cover was sagging under the snow load and ready to buckle but our wonderful friends John and Caleb cleared all the snow off for us. Perhaps that roof was not engineered quite sturdy enough?
And now rain. Over 7 inches in 24 hours! No flooding at the ranch. The locals refer to that kind of warm rain as the “Pineapple Express” as it comes directly from Hawaii. Flooding usually hits below us as the Cascade, Sauk and Baker rivers flow into the already swollen Skagit river around Concrete and below. There are lots of mudslides to report. Hwy 20 is closed in at least three places between the ranch and “civilization” as Megan puts it.
Hwy 20 closure due to a mudslide in Concrete. This is about 15 miles below the ranch. Hwy 20 is the main – actually only – highway in the North Cascades and runs east from I-5 following the Skagit River. With this road closed local traffic is cut off from the services below.
Here is the official Washington State DOT version of events:
SR 20 – Multiple mudslides have spilled across SR 20 near Concrete, tearing out concrete barrier, guardrail, and power poles and leaving a half-mile of mud and debris in their wake. The road is closed indefinitely from Concrete (milepost 90) to Jackman Creek Road (milepost 91). WSDOT will move as quickly as possible to hire a contractor and clear the road. Work cannot begin until the slope stabilizes, which could take several days. It is too early to determine the extent of the damage, but the work could take a week or more to complete.
This is the house that collapsed on a woman in Concrete Wednesday. Neighbors rescued her by using a car jack. Here is the news story:
CONCRETE, Wash. — A woman survived a ride she’ll never forget as her home plunged down a hillside in this Skagit County town late Wednesday morning.
Diane Bergsma, 66, says she was sitting in her home with her two dogs on her lap, next to a roaring fire in her fireplace when the hillside gave way.
“It felt like an earthquake,” she said. “I thought I was dead.”
The slide sent her, her dogs, and her home along a wave of mud and water about 15 feet over then 20 feet down to the valley below near Dillard and Division streets.
The home then landed on her son’s car.
This is a house in Concrete with all the snow before the warmer rains started. You can see why our porch roof was sagging.
HWY 530 near Darrington. About 15 miles SW of the ranch.
Near Burlington. This is the town about 45 miles below us on I-5 we go down to every 2 to 3 weeks to get our groceries and supplies. The Skagit river flows into Puget Sound just below this. The local Costco – our favorite store – is about a mile from where this picture was taken.