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Snohomish County homeowner says flooding was ‘really scary’ as river swept through roads

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — Steady, relentless rain led to flooded streets and homes along the Stillaguamish River. The river hit its highest level around 9 a.m., cresting at 17 and a half feet. An hour later, at 10 a.m. the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management deemed the Stillaguamish at major flood stage. A homeowner who lives adjacent to the South Fork said his home started to flood around 4 a.m.

“I got up immediately and we just started putting towels down in front of the doors, putting tarps down in front of the doors as well, trying to do anything to keep that seal to keep that water from coming in. We shut all the circuit panels down, had to go kill the power to my hot tub just so we don’t short circuit the house or anything like that,” said Curtin Babbs. 

He and others also said at times, all they could do was sit and watch the water take out whatever was in its way.

“The flow of the river on the road matches the one on the actual river and there’s logs floating by, mailboxes and bins, propane tanks all that stuff,” said Babbs. “That was actually really scary honestly, just seeing basically a river on my sideyard.” 

“Logs, trees, I’ve seen a couch go by with lawn furniture on it,” said Kathy Grooms, who lives a little over a mile away with the river rushing directly behind her home.

Grooms’ garage completely flooded, with only about a foot of space left above the water.

“You can see it is probably about 15 inches down maybe less. You can see where there is the watermark. I’ll be out of power until this goes down. Hopefully, I’ve got some friends who will let me come over and shower,” she said.

Just this fall, she began to prepare for her first flood season in her riverside home.

“It did go up my stairwell. I happened to put in a door just preparing for a flood because you never know when it’s going to happen. It didn’t go all the way up the stairwell, it went about five steps up versus filling up the whole hallway so it did help,” said Grooms.

She also told us that she has flood insurance but was left speechless when she learned she’d have to fork up a $10,000 deductible to use it.

“It’s really kind of a shame that flood insurance, the deductible is $10k, and at $10,000 it’s just such a rip-off, I’m sorry.”

Grooms’ neighbors have power and have been helping her charge her phone and bringing her what she needs from town. 

The Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management said right now, it’s too early to tell how many homes were affected in Tuesday’s flooding.