I’m absolutely shocked, I tell you.
Who, after all, could have predicted heavy rainfall coupled with unsustainable forest practices and continued back-fill on the flood plains–all to make room for more sprawl along Interstate 5–would result in epic flooding.
It’s not like this happened last winter or anything. Oh that’s right, it did happen last year.
According to statistics, published in the Seattle Times and compiled by the Lewis County Emergency Management and Friends of the Lewis County Animal Shelter, last years flooding was a costly affair. Here are the numbers:
$450 million is the estimated total flood losses to families, businesses and government agencies
5,000 the estimated number of cows, sheep, goats, horses, dogs, cats and other domestic animals that died
1,300 homes damaged
500 people rescued
100 homes destroyed
60 families are still receiving help from Lewis County Long Term Recovery
Surely, government officials in Lewis County now understand the true cost of development on the flood plains, and don’t expect the state to continue to subsidize their poor judgement.
After all, this is the land of all of those self-reliant Dino Rossi supporters. You know, the ones who want lower taxes and don’t want the state wasting its money on pork barrel projects.
“The local authorities are still focusing heavily on development in the flood plain,” said Jim Park, a state Department of Transportation hydrologist. “And the hydrological data is suggesting that the magnitude of the flooding along the Chehalis is getting worse.”
Oh wait, scratch that.
Video: Flooding in Chehalis, Wa, 2009 by Acatron