Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Flooding

This winter saw an incredible amount of flooding throughout our region, bringing back memories of 2006 to many of us. Hardest hit seemed to be the Snoqualmie Valley and the City of Pacific, based on the images we saw on the evening news. My good friend and photographer Alan Bauer captured some excellent images of helicopter rescues near his home in Fall City. For many, the tragedy hit too close to home.

I wasn't able to get out and view some of these areas until a couple of days after the waters had started receding. Still, it was amazing. The power of the Snoqualmie River as it roared over the falls was something else.

Driving into town on the only recently opened SR-202 was also something to behold. Not because of the flood damage, but rather the fact that the river had already receded twenty feet or so in such a short time. This river didn't look the least bit threatening! I tried to imagine what it must have been like to watch the water rise.

Auburn is the town that I grew up in, so a trip down to Isaac Evens Park along the Green River seemed mandatory. My brothers and I received many scoldings (and more!) by getting caught hanging out here as kids. We were barely school age and didn't know how to swim. Add being late for dinner and having scared parents have to come looking for us, and it was not a recipe with a happy ending! Ah, but those were days long ago...

The area has changed much since those days, but the memories 0f yester-year still ran rampant thru my head as I watched the murky brown water run swiftly by.

Next was the town of Pacific where the White River had overfilled its banks, flooding the city park and neighboring community.

Finally, I decide to drive out to another favorite area - Flaming Geyser State Park. Of course, driving the Green River Valley from Auburn was out of the question - as I assumed it would be. So I instead investigated the Auburn - Black Diamond Road. I don't recall having ever driven this road previously, which seems strange to me. I saw a number of Great Blue Herons and enough scenery to make me want to go back. I also saw scenes like this:

I took the detour route for SR 169 from the Auburn-Black Diamond Road, and soon found myself at the Flaming Geyser State Park entrance. It was quite a different scene from the summers I spent there as a kid.

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