I am usually glad to be home after traveling. This time was not that time. My plan had not even landed, and my search and rescue and storm recovery notices and warnings were going off across many of the markets we are in, but especially at home, where we were currently at. We have been staying in Monroe, WA in a beautiful area right next to the Skykomish river and near the Snohomish River.
Well while I was gone, the area experienced freezing temperatures and snowpack in the mountains. Then the day before I was to travel, things started warming up. So that by the time I got home, 4 of the surrounding rivers were at flood stage and rising. They were not expected to stop rising for another 24 hours. While that may not normally interfere with many folks, when you are trying to get back home and have to cross at least 1 of these 4 rivers to get there, it can be quite challenging.
Many roads have bridges that are up high enough, but it is the lower roads the lead up to the bridges that cause the problems. So I had barely landed and turned my phone off airplane mode and it was blowing up. What should have been a 45 min to 1 hour drive home, was over 3 hours. I had to reroute multiple times to find roads that were still open and even then, probably should not have been.
This picture you see here may not look very deep, but what you can’t see is the road that goes around the corner. The rest of the road was entirely flooded out for about a quarter of a mile and water was all the way up to my hood for me to drive through it. Several times the current started to move the vehicle the wrong way. This picture was taken before I had to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes and mind alert.
It took almost a week for the water to abate. Thankfully, I was driving our vehicle that was damaged in a car accident that is waiting to be totaled by the insurance company. So I wasn’t too worried about long term damage. But now I really understand why they say you should not drive through the water on the roadway. If you were unfamiliar with this road, you would not know that there was a large dip in it and several low spots. It certainly did not look that deep when I was looking out at it.
When I did finally get home, many folks were either without power or were stranded somewhere. Normally I would be out helping those folks, but this time found myself being one of the stranded for a day or two.
Sometimes we have to make tradeoffs, we live in a beautiful part of the country up in the PNW, but it is not used to large amounts of precipitation despite what others think, our average annual precipitation is much lower than parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida and our temperatures are not as extreme like places like Minnesota so things don’t stay frozen long. But the tradeoff is the enormous beauty around us that is like none other. So I will take those few moments of inconvenience in exchange for the beauty.