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King County Executive
Dow Constantine

King County responds to urgent needs of Pacific flood victims in first steps of recovery


Residents of Pacific greeted King County crews with open arms Sunday as they arrived to assist with clean up in the hardest hit area of the city.


Pacific clean upResidents of Pacific greeted King County crews with open arms Sunday as they arrived to assist with clean up in the hardest hit area of the city.

County Executive Ron Sims sent crews from Solid Waste, Parks, Emergency Management and the Airport Maintenance Division after visiting the area on Saturday and surveying the widespread damage. County crews, along with 38 community volunteers, began arriving at 8 a.m. to provide a helping hand to the frustrated and overwhelmed residents of the White River Estates neighborhood.

“I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 15 years but I have never seen it flood before,” said one longtime resident of Pacific. “It all happened so fast.”

This weekend residents began the difficult task of having to throw away furniture, appliances and other possessions as receding waters left a muddy, wet mess behind to clean up. Some homeowners saw as much as four feet of river water fill their garages and seep into living spaces, damaging not only drywall, insulation and landscaping, but also flooring, furniture and other personal belongings.

“The impact to some residents is more severe than others,” said Heather Kelly of King County Emergency Management who was on site to oversee the county’s recovery efforts. “Some houses have been devastated while others on higher ground have not seen the same destruction. Watching neighbors helping neighbors cope with the aftermath of the floods has definitely been the silver lining to this life altering event.”

This entire incident has brought out the best in people, according to one resident who didn’t want her name used. “In the past 48 hours I’ve met more neighbors than since moving here six months ago,” said another homeowner, as King County crews loaded debris from his driveway.

While residents were still upset over the flooding, they repeatedly expressed their gratitude to for the support. “We really appreciate King County’s presence and their willingness to answer our questions,” stated one homeowner.

Fifteen Home Depot volunteers worked all day picking up sand bags for recycling, loading trash from citizens’ damaged homes and pumping water from flood-filled crawl spaces. Volunteer workers were happy to be involved in support efforts, stating, “We’re here to do whatever we can to help”.

Side by side, neighbors, volunteers and county staff worked tirelessly until dark to fill dumpsters with destroyed personal belongings and damaged home materials.

As the county and state document the damage in order to apply for national disaster assistance, people who suffered flood and storm damage are reminded to call the King County preliminary damage report hotline at 800-523-5044 starting Monday at 12:00 noon to report their losses.

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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