Skagit flood fallout: Hamilton homeowners assess the damage

KING 5's Heather Graf reports.

On Friday night, seven people were still staying at an emergency shelter in Hamilton, Washington, unable to return to their homes on streets still flooded by the Skagit River.

Mayor Joan Cromley said the water was starting to recede in some areas but would take time.

"It's just going to take some time, the same way the bathtub drains," said Cromley.  "We haven't had high water like this in 11 years, so since 2006."

Cromley said California Street got hit the hardest.  That's where at least one family had to be rescued.  Several homes and trailers on California Street remained inaccessible on Friday.

Other people waded through flooded yards to assess the damage at their homes.

"Our whole yard all the way through the horse pasture behind our yard is complete water," said Shelly Driver.  

Driver said her family has a lot to clean up, but they're grateful the floodwaters did not rise high enough to enter their home on Hamilton Avenue.

They stayed in a hotel on Thursday night, after evacuating in response to warnings from town officials.  Since the hotel did not allow animals, Driver said that checking on their pets was priority number one upon returning home.

"They're doing good," she said.  "We have a couple dogs and cats we were able to round up and then two geese and ducks that kept trying to swim off."

The geese and ducks might be the only ones that don't mind the floodwaters.

Cromley said floods are nothing new to the town of Hamilton, but since this is their first one since 2006, some residents were caught off-guard.

"When there's a crisis that hits, most of them will band together and do whatever needs to be done to help their neighbor," said Cromley.

Cromley said some of the levees in town were damaged during Thursday's flood.  She said the town will have work quickly to make those repairs, so they're ready the next time Hamilton floods.

© 2017 KING-TV


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