Dozens of Everett homes damaged by floodwater, raw sewage

EVERETT, Wash. -- A Thursday night rainstorm overwhelmed Everett's sewer system, sending raw sewage and floodwater into homes, the sound and the Snohomish River.

The ferry to Jetty Island was still running on Friday, but visitors can't miss the warning signs telling them to stay out of the water.

Thursday's storm wreaked havoc on the city's sewage overflow stations. Manhole covers couldn't contain so much rainwater in such a short period of time, and within minutes some residents had as much as three feet of water in their basements.

"It comes in waves of devastation," said Erin Jewett, whose basement was washed out with floodwater and sewage.

Jewett said the water and sewage reached her front window.

"It's disgusting," she said. "I don't want any of it. It's gone, everything's lost."

Most of Everett got an inch of rain in 30 minutes, and it wasn't long before a stinking mix of raw sewage and rainwater rolled down city streets and into roughly 30 homes.

The rain overwhelmed 11 of the city 13 overflow stations.

"It was diluted sewage, very highly diluted, because there was a tremendous amount of rain," said David Davis of the city's Public Works Department.

At the Jetty Island Marine Park, many families showing up for a day at the beach on Friday turned around and went home when they saw the sewage warning. Howarth Park, Pigeon Creek Beach, Langus Park, Rotary Park and Jetty Island all have signs posted to warn people about the sewage.

"Oh lovely, I guess that changed our plans," said Katrina Hughes, who had planned on visiting the beach.

The Public Works Department has tested the water and will get the results back on Saturday, at which point they'll decide if the signs need to stay up longer or if they can come down. The city will post the results on its website.