Sumas families return to widespread devastation

SUMAS, Wash. — After fierce floods ravaged western Washington, families are returning to their homes for the first time to see the damage for themselves.

“I started to cry when I went around the corner and I saw everything piled up on the back deck. Everything,” says Jodi Postma, who has lived in the same home with her husband for 40 years.

All their belongings are now in two piles. Some of the items they will keep, the others they will need to toss.

“I didn’t know where to begin,” says Jodi Postma.

The couple says their home has flooded once before, but never like this.

“It was like a cancer,” says Rich Postma. “It was spreading through here. Just rising like crazy.”

Parts of the small community are still flooded, but that hasn’t stopped the effort to clean up.

The Salvation Army has set up a post to help the best they can, volunteers are cooking up meals, and dumpsters have been placed around the town so people have a place to throw away items destroyed by the flood.

Even with so much damage, it’s not about what was lost that families across the area are thinking about tonight. It’s about who they still have and how lucky they believe they are.

“Because we’re all alive. We had some scares,” says Jodi Postma. “It was just a relief that we’re all okay.”