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Beaver dam smashed by falling trees inundates Mill Creek neighborhood

KOMO/Air 4 photo

MILL CREEK, Wash. -- A beaver dam smashed apart by falling trees in recent windy weather sent water rushing from a Mill Creek wetland into a neighborhood on Wednesday, flooding and closing streets.

At first, the source of the rushing water was a mystery as flooding closed 136th Street between state Route 527 and Jackson High School around 10 a.m.. Mill Creek officials could only react, using pumps and sandbags in an effort to keep the water contained and away from homes.

It was a losing battle for some. A foot of water soaked the first floor of Riley Thomas' home on the cul de sac.

"I mean, what is there to say? Unfortunately there's nothing to say," Thomas said. "Just trying to wrap my head around all this."

Eventually, crews figured out a retention pond, swollen from recent heavy rains, overflowed when a beaver dam was struck by two trees that had snapped off during this week's windstorms.

But Thomas sees a silver lining in this water -- the support that poured in from his neighbors.

"Everybody was offering to pitch in, lift heavy objects, get food," Thomas said. "It's great to know you have a community that backs you. And when you help your neighbors, they turn around and help you too."

Kent Thomas, Riley's father, thinks there's more to this problem than one busted beaver dam. He said his neighborhood has had ongoing water retention problems.

“Every year when it rains there seems to be a little problem with the storm drains, with them bubbling up and overflowing," he said.

As pumps continued to whirr away Wednesday evening, crews think clearing the water will take a while. Silver Lake Water District is pumping out water at the end of 132nd Street to a catch basin connected to a storm water system. Eventually all the water was cleared, and crews re-opened all the roads.

The city is asking homeowners impacted by the flooding to contact the City’s Public Works department at 425-551-7254 to report issues.


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