“So why was Lewis County hit so hard by flooding?
Federal experts say a freak of nature may be to blame. They emphasize they’re still investigating, but they say they’re zeroing in on a small but high-intensity rain event that fueled the Chehalis River.They also can’t rule out some sort of “x” factor — an unexplained event that accelerated the flood waters…
Experts say a mini super storm parked itself over the area where the Chehalis forms, with an intensity perhaps unprecedented in lower elevations.
The rain pounded the area of southwest Lewis County known as the Willapa Hills — the headwaters of the Chehalis River. Nearly 9 inches fell there in one 24-hour period. By comparison, just a third of that amount fell on Centralia.
The rainfall gorged the Chehalis, with the water rising so fast many people were certain that levies broke,” quoting KING-5 TV.
Pictures of the Flood
Jeremy King Family’s Public Gallery.
Click on Slide Show.
“Did development, logging set the stage for disaster?”
The Seattle times reports,
“For more than a decade in the Chehalis River watershed, developers have been allowed to roll the dice.
In 1996, the worst flood Lewis County had ever known blew through, drowning communities in muddy water high enough to close Interstate 5. Since then, the county has granted more than 100 permits for new development in the floodplain. The cities of Centralia and Chehalis added to the rush.
Big-box stores, restaurants and strip malls galore. A railroad line extension, parking lots for a church. A coal-unloading facility, a new natural-gas pipeline, a mine expansion. And barns, homes, carports and shops. All built in the floodplain…
Many state officials and regional experts, including a former county manager who says he was fired after criticizing floodplain development, say they have been warning for years that the hunger for development was running counter to common sense.”
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