SNOHOMISH — Flood waters that hit parts of Snohomish County were more nuisance than disaster Sunday and Monday. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a hassle for some folks in the lowlands.
James Edmondson, 33, was somewhat aware that the Pilchuck River had a reputation for spilling over its banks, when he moved to Sexton Road about 14 months ago. He bought the riverfront property at an almost suspiciously low price, he said.
Neighbors woke him around dawn Sunday to warn of the forecast. Hours later, murky brown water seeped into his garage, shin-deep. It was the first time he’d seen how the river floods.
Edmondson and a longtime friend, Ryan Sund, 32, pulled sopping carpet from a basement game room Monday. He’d had the foresight to put his washer and dryer on cinder blocks. The game room was furnished with a cheap couch. A wall-mounted TV, and anything else of value, sat well above the water line.
Edmondson suspected the home had been flipped before on the real estate market. He recalled opening a kitchen drawer a year ago, when he moved in.
“I couldn’t even count the number of realtor cards in there,” he said.
As he and Sund toiled with the carpet, his next-door neighbor bailed out water from his garage by the barrel full.
Edmondson felt lucky that he still had electricity and running taps. A half-inch of river water still covered the floor when he started making repairs to the drywall. He took out a knife and started carving. Now, he said, he knows how to prepare for next time.
Often it has felt worth the risk, to have a home on the river.
“Come out here in the summer,” Edmondson said.
David Bauermeister, 60, walked two dogs up and down Sexton Road. He has seen many neighbors come and go from those homes, when they realized they didn’t want to live at the mercy of a fickle river.
Three driveways to the south, Bauermeister’s lot had turned into a shallow pond. If the water grew any deeper, a dinghy sitting in the grass might have needed an anchor. He’d moved the living quarters, an RV, down the street to slightly higher ground.
“Wait a day and we’ll be back on,” he said.
Meanwhile, traffic snarled on the U.S. 2 trestle east of Everett, when the peak-use shoulder lane was closed so a crane could pick debris from the water below. The eastbound lane was expected to stay blocked through Tuesday morning.
High, swift rivers carried stumps and whole trees downstream.
For some, it was a time to watch nature carve its own path.
People drove to Cady Landing along the Snohomish River to snap iPhone photos of the muddy water flowing across the parking lot. The river climbed about a foot above flood stage Sunday night, hovering there into the afternoon Monday, in its namesake city.
Shawn Sedivic, 35, a lifelong resident of Snohomish, watched logs roll on the swollen river. He had parked his faded red Ford Ranger to have breakfast, a chicken bacon sandwich from Jack in the Box.
“I like to come check it out, just to watch the force of the river and see the trees go,” he said.
Eric Stevick contributed to this report.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.