Friday, January 9, 2009

What Happens When The Snow Melts and You're Hit By A Pineapple Express!

You flood! Yes, the snow is gone. It has filled the rivers and then we are hit by torrential rains. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Thousands of people are without electricity. Some who stayed in their homes in the two towns (Fall City and Snoqualmie) nearest to me are stranded. We are far enough above the river that our home is safe, but just down the road (the only one in and out) the Raging River has threatened and we have our first slide. My electricity, true to form, is off and on. Here's a photo of the road near my home. Here are more photos. If it says Fall City, Snoqualmie, Carnation, or Tolt it's near me.

Many of our friends are not as fortunate. Below is an email from the women who run one of my favorite antique stores in Issaquah - Sisters. They have flooded. They are a little shop with ceilings just shy of 12 feet. They advertise 14,000 cubic feet of display space because of the treasures on the floor. I purchased one of my favorite photographs of women wearing glasses here, and some beautiful books.

Read the description of life in Western Washington and thank your lucky stars you're dry. This story is unfortunately typical of homes as well as businesses.

Sisters is located in Gilman Square
In the middle of Issaquah, WA

"We spent Wednesday afternoon and early evening bagging sand, laying heavy plastic down on the ground and up the walls/doors/windows about 4 feet. We layered 2-3 sandbags along the base to keep the plastic up so we wouldn't flood if Issaquah Creek went over its banks. Most of us have been through these flood threats before and didn't think we would actually flood.

I kept checking the flood hotline for updates on the creek and it seemed to be okay. It wasn't until my last call around 6:00 a.m. Thursday that I learned 7th Avenue, (the street behind the shop just to the west) had been closed. We came down an hour or so later to check things out. When we arrived at the entrance of Gilman Square, the parking lot was totally flooded and water was pouring out onto Gilman Blvd (the main street in our town). A truck parked in front of Lombardi's (the restaurant in town famous for its Garlic Festival - Myrt, I'll bet you've eaten here) was up to its windows with water. From the street, we couldn't tell if water had actually risen above the plastic and sandbags in front of our store.

I think it was some time after 1:00 in the afternoon that I was finally able to get to the shop without water going over my knee-high boots. I looked through the window to find nearly a foot of water throughout the shop. Once I pulled back the plastic and moved sandbags I was able to open the front door. This unleashed a virtual river of water. As I stood there in disbelief, I grabbed a small suitcase, bowls with shells, a tray with butter pats, and Christmas ornaments as they floated by. Once the water was through flowing we were left with about 3 inches of standing water. We spent the afternoon using Shop Vacs to suck up all the water and started dragging out rugs and other items we could salvage.

The landlord brought in a company late yesterday afternoon that "cleans up" after disasters like this and assesses the damage to the building. They placed two huge dehumidifiers in the shop that pull the moisture out. It was about 6:00 or so when we had to quit for the day and let the machines start doing their jobs. As necessary, they will use professional equipment to pull out water as well. We do know that all carpeting has to be pulled up and replaced. If the drywall is badly damaged, they will cut it out and replace that as well. The company will be back Friday morning after 8:00 to start work again.

We aren't exactly "Business As Usual" but we are determined and will start this major restoration project today. . ."

Image courtesy of Sisters Inc.


Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

I hope you guys get a break soon! I am certain it will taking a long time for everything to be repaired and back to normal.

January 11, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Thanks. I'm not knee deep in mud with a sixty foot pine tree in my living room. I am so fortunate.

So many in my state and my area are devastated.


January 11, 2009 at 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for including SISTERS ANTIQUES and the flooding of Issaquah Creek in your blog. Thanks also to our wonderful customers and such a great community, we have had so many people volunteering to help us. It is so heartwarming. We can't wait to get back to normal! Thanks, Patty.

January 12, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


My heart breaks for you. You have always been so good to me.

I say a little prayer for you every night.


January 12, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

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