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Carnation Flooding

Liz Jones
12/14/2010

Western Washington is still drying out after the weekend's heavy rains and floods. Some of the worst flooding occurred in the Snoqualmie Valley, near Carnation. KUOW's Liz Jones talked to a farmer in the area Monday afternoon and has this report.

TRANSCRIPT

Gary Eppley lives on a farm between Fall City and Carnation, just a stone's throw from the lower Snoqualmie River.

Eppley: "I'm looking out my back porch right now and everything is water."

Saturday he watched the brown, murky water start to wash over his property.

Eppley: "It's slow at first. It just seeps in from the edges. It just looks like rising water. Then all of the sudden the whole pastures out in front of our house are just a lake. Then eventually a couple spots of current start moving through, and as it gets higher and higher more a part of the main river is flowing through."

Eppley estimates he's got a couple feet of water out there now. That's enough to turn his farm into a little island.

Eppley: "The only way in and out is about a three–quarters of a mile canoe ride."

He says about 10 of his neighbors are similarly trapped. The Snoqualmie River near Carnation crested Monday morning and the floodwaters are receding.

Eppley's lived in the Snoqualmie Valley for more than 10 years, so he's used to floods. But he says the area's experienced worse and worse flooding in recent years.

Eppley: "So we are much more cautious. So when they said last night that the river was going to come up another foot, I made sure I moved everything 3 feet higher than it needed to be. And it was a good thing because it ended up coming up another foot and a half beyond that."

Several Snoqualmie Valley residents, including Eppley, believe the worsening floods may be man–made. And they've sued the Army Corps of Engineers. At issue is a permit the Corps authorized to allow the river to be widened above Snoqualmie Falls. That case is pending in federal court.

I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

© Copyright 2010, KUOW

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