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'Nothing we can do now:' 3 homes in Lyman deemed unsafe along eroding Skagit River banks

Several people in the small town of Lyman were told Monday their homes are no longer safe as they teeter on the edge of the banks along the Skagit River. (Photo: KOMO News/Air 4)

LYMAN, Wash. - Several people in the small town of Lyman were told Monday their homes are no longer safe as they teeter on the edge of the banks along the Skagit River.

The Guidinger family's dream home was one of those yellow-tagged by the city. The property has been in the family since the 1920's.

"This is the beautiful, wonderful house," Richard Guidinger said, after his home was yellow-tagged by the city. "Nothing we can do now. We're just waiting to see, maybe."

It's one of three homes along the Skagit River that are now dangerously close to the river's eroding banks. One family's shed was already washed away.

"Because the river, in the last two days ate so much, I've been yellow-tagged, which means I cannot stay in my house," said Guidinger. "I can only be able to get stuff in and out of my house."

The Skagit River reached it's highest level in 11 years over the Thanksgiving holiday

Vicky Guidinger said state and federal officials should have acted sooner, since the river erosion in that area is well-documented.

"All you have to do is dump some rock and that would have stopped it," she said.

Eddie Hills, the mayor of Lyman, said the Army Corps of Engineers plans to come in and shore up the eroding back, but when exactly that will happen remains unclear.

"My hope is to take care of the homeowners and then take care of the town as well and protect our infrastructure," said Hills.

But, for the Guidingers and two other families, it's likely too late.

"I'm struggling right now. I don't know what to do to keep going. We gotta keep it moving," said Richard Guidinger.

On Monday, Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) visited with families along the Skagit River, including in Lynman and Hamilton. She called for communities to work together to help those impacted by the flooding and riverbank erosion.

Mayor Hills said he's trying to have the Skagit River's "Scenic and Wild" designation around Lyman lifted. He said that will allow the government to shore up the river banks much faster.

Family and friends have set up several GoFundMe accounts to help those residents impacted by the flooding along the Skagit River.



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