We live at the confluence of the Carbon & Puyallup Rivers in Orting, WA. Sitting in the shadow of Mt. Rainier has it's risk. In the event of an eruption, or venting on the mountain, the glaciers may melt. If this happens where our rivers originate - Orting is in B-I-G trouble. We will be buried under a Lahar. The estimations are approximately 30 feet of mud and debris the consistency of wet concrete could come rushing down the mountain and bury everyone in its path.
Orting - Town at Risk
As my husband says...It will just save us on burial costs. The beauty is worth it. In exchange for all of this beauty comes the risk of Lahar and flooding. We knew this when we built our house. The only real risk to our house is from Lahar. Flooding is a long shot. Our house is built approx 5 ft above the 500 yr flood plain. In the event of devastating floods - our home would be an island.
In the past several years the flooding is increasing in devastation. 2006 saw record flooding. With the combination of record snow pack, unseasonably warm temperatures and up to 24 inches of rain (in the mountains) in 48 hours we are now facing flooding unlike our area has seen in modern times. The flooding on the Puyallup river is supposed to be at record levels.
Flood Danger Rising With Warm Rain
Orting Residents Urged to Evacuate
The Carbon River Levee is our trail of paradise where we walk the dogs daily, a stones throw from our house.
This picture was taken Jan 2
This is the same spot taken this morning Jan 7
This one was taken this afternoon
A little further down the river - Jan 2
Today at the same spot
The area where I stood this morning & afternoon to take these pictures is now underwater. The river breached the levee. We are being urged to evacuate - not so much due to property damage at our home - rather they are afraid we are going to be trapped. The fire department is now going door to door. There are only three ways out of our city. One is completely under water now. The major arterial Hwy 162 has a very old concrete bridge they are worried may be compromised by the debris, the other is a newer bridge over the Puyallup river - they are also very concerned about.
We have decided not to leave. (Not many hotels will take a family with three dogs and an old cat). I have filled up bathtubs and every available water container (in case of water contamination). We have plenty of food and our house is safe from the water. In the past - there was more damage done by looters than there was by flooding. Our neighbors have brought us their keys, we are going to feed their pets and keep eyes on their houses.
John just got home from work in Seattle. When he was coming across the bridge into town the Sheriff Deputy told him that "if you come in, you may not get out" then let him pass.
Even if we were to leave now...the traffic heading out of town is at a dead standstill. *sigh*
If it gets really really really bad....Thankfully....we have a boat.
Send warm dry thoughts our way!
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