Kenmore and Bothell roads, parks, homes hit hard by winter storm
December 15, 2010 · Updated 2:18 PM
Judging from the reports coming out of their respective City Halls, of Northshore communities, Kenmore took the brunt of flooding and water problems following the heavy rains that soaked the area the weekend of Dec. 10.
According to Bothell Assistant City Manager Steve Anderson, the city had sandbags available for residents, but he did not believe many, if any, were handed out. Kenmore had sandbags at five locations around the city and several reports had those bags in high demand.
In e-mails sent to City Council and other officials, Kenmore City Manager Fred Stouder outlined several problem spots. While they may or may not have been the hardest hit locations in the city, private properties along 73rd Avenue Northeast north and south of Northeast 192nd Street received a lot of attention.
Overflowing from Swamp Creek, which runs well behind her property, water surrounded the home of 73rd Avenue resident Elizabeth “Frankie” Schmitt.
On Dec. 13, after the worst of the weekend storms had passed, Schmitt had four sump pumps working to remove several inches of water that swamped her front and side yards. Residents could not be reached for comment, but Schmitt claimed the house behind hers was even harder hit, stating that home’s occupants were using a raft to get in and out.
Schmitt said she received sandbags from the city and help from a local Boy Scout troop and the American Legion in lining up the bags several feet deep along the front of her home. Even with that barrier in place, water reached Schmitt’s attached garage, home to her quilting business, Dizzy Stitches. Schmitt said that fortunately she removed items from the garage before the water invaded.
Across the street from Schmitt, landlord Laurie Lindenmeyer didn’t appear to have as much water soaking her property, but couldn’t be sure the water hadn’t entered her rental home. As of late the afternoon of Dec. 13, Lindenmeyer said she hadn’t been able to reach the home to assess any damage. A tenant apparently was not in the home when the flooding occurred.
For her part, Schmitt had little nice to say about the city’s efforts to stem the tides reaching her street.
“It all goes back to Swamp Creek,” she said, adding that dredging the creek would help in her opinion. “They need to address the problem, something needs to be done.”
Other trouble spots in Kenmore included an area off Arrowhead Drive and Northeast 61st Place, where residents had concerns that landslides were threatening to cave in the road. Stouder said inspectors studied the situation and felt the street was safe. One homeowner spent the night elsewhere, just in case, at the suggestion of Kenmore’s chief building official.
According to Stouder, officials closed only one Kenmore road, Northeast 192nd Street between 75th and 80th avenues northeast. A landslide hit a home in the 6500 block of Northeast 198th Street and early reports had the city advising the homeowner to evacuate. Stouder said upon inspection of the situation, officials felt the homeowner could stay put.
“The city is doing everything it can to help people out,” Stouder said regarding Kenmore’s response to the recent weather. “This was a very unusual rain.”
In Bothell, officials closed one street on Dec. 12, a stretch of 120th Avenue Northeast. They reopened the roadway the following day. The city had about three other hotspots, according to Anderson. For example, North Creek overflowed a bridge on 240th Street Southeast, but Anderson said that, thankfully, officials closed the span in late October because of concerns over the condition of bridge supports.
The city plans to replace the bridge within two years.
Elsewhere, photos taken by the Reporter showed flooding in the Park at Bothell Landing. The park amphitheater was filled with water.
“The Sammamish River was higher than most people have seen,” Anderson said.