Flooding impacts WSU Extension staff

Many people in western Washington, including WSU Extension and Research staff,  are still without power or phone service due to flooding earlier this week. Below are a few of their stories and some photos from that region.
* Jennifer Leach, WSU County Extension director, Wahkiakum County: “We were without phone service until this evening….we can now call out and can now receive e-mails…..but not sure if we can receive incoming calls.”

* Don Tapio, area extension educator, Grays Harbor County:   “I have been confined to the barn (photo above) and am now cleaning up the mud, as I had three to four inches of water/mud inside. The flood could not have come at a worse time for Christmas tree growers. The Mennonite neighbors take very good care of me so I have plenty of food and keep a wood pile in the barn for flood events like this.  I am so very fortunate compared to many in this area who lost everything.
“I am getting reports that livestock losses in Lewis County may exceed 1,000 animals — but I have not been able to confirm that. The local casino opened its hotel to Chehalis tribal members who were severely flooded. The flood has resulted in major economic loss to the ag community in both Lewis and South Thurston County.
“I am told Centralia and Chehalis businesses experienced major damage with both WalMart and Home Depot along the freeway in Chehalis having water inside Highway 12 remains closed and I am told there is major flooding in Aberdeen tonight due to a high tide and flood waters on the Chehalis.
“Last year it was the devastating windstorm on Dec. 14, this year the record breaking flood — I hope it’s not a blizzard next year.”

* Toni Gwin, Nutrition Program Educator, Grays Harbor:  “Raymond, Long Beach, Ocean Park and South Bend had the power restored last night. Two semi-trucks brought food in yesterday. The gas company truck is expected this morning. I am in the office this morning catching up on email. Our phone service is sketchy (cell and land).

“We have been receiving a few phone calls dealing with thawing freezers and one father who was only supposed to have his children for the weekend. They are still here as we are basically land locked. He didn’t know what to do with them for such a long time and thought he could just give them to the 4-H program. I suggest a few non-power related activities they could do together (instant pudding – a big hit with no power).
“Highway 101 and lowland roads will be impassable this afternoon as flood and tidal water mix. I’ll be here until about noon then will be traveling home. I would rather be stranded at home. “
* Terry Porter, principal assistant at WSU Vancouver:   ” The parking lot here at the annex is the National Guard Staging area. They are sleeping in the commissioner’s meeting room.  They got our power going and are working to clear the roads.
“The landscape is totally different after the winds. Tuesday all you could hear was chain saws and the pounding up of blue tarps. Wednesday the generators started. People here have that ‘I can’t believe I survived’ look to them. It is amazing no lives were lost.
I never want to live through this again.
“Cindy Howard, public affiliate, WSU County Extension, South Bend County, is still without power. She did get phone service today,” Porter wrote, “We are both still laughing at our situations, so will be fine.”

If you or your office has been impacted by the flooding, and you would like to share that story or photos, it’s easy. Just click on the following link and to

Submit Your Flood Story or Photo



* Sheila Gray, director, WSU Lewis County Extension:  “We are back in business today (Thursday) but we were closed yesterday.  I-5 is due to open sometime Friday (cross your fingers) and the main drag between Chehalis and Centralia is due to open this afternoon. Still lots of water, lots of mud. Fortunately the courthouse did not have any water damage.
More photos:
* Seattle Post -Intelligencer, http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/

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