Photo by Brandon Taylor/Whidbey News Group
                                Last weekend’s downpour turned the Guiets’ residence into a lakeside view on Saturday while flooding the home.

Photo by Brandon Taylor/Whidbey News Group Last weekend’s downpour turned the Guiets’ residence into a lakeside view on Saturday while flooding the home.

Family forced out of home by flooding

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020 1:30am
  • News

While the sun is a welcome reprieve and the City of Oak Harbor has lifted its water use restrictions, the aftermath of last weekend’s downpour is still being felt by residents of a house near the Whidbey Golf Course.

As a result of last weekend’s deluge, the first floor of the Gueits family’s home sat in about a foot of brown water.

Karen Kelley, who is staying at the residence, tried unsuccessfully to hold out the water with sandbags.

The family, comprised of four adults and four children ages 5 months to 11 years, were forced to shut off the electricity and evacuate.

The water was still sitting at the same level as of Friday and showed no signs of dissipating, according to resident Linda Gueits.

She said the family is trying to get into the Navy Lodge with help from Navy-Marine Relief and hoping to receive aid from the Red Cross.

“We’re just in a bad situation,” Gueits said.

The home sits on unincorporated property, next to a FEMA flood zone, but this is the first time the house has flooded since the family bought it in 2017.

Farmland in the Clover Valley Creek area near Dugualla Bay and on Camano Island experienced heavy flooding as well.

Island County Commissioner Janet St. Claire went to the area Friday to investigate. Because the north-central part of the island is normally in the rain shadow, it usually receives less rain than the southern part, she said.

St. Claire said this weekend’s storm was unprecedented. She praised first responders for their efforts during the heavy rain.

The Navy has sent pumps to assist in draining the area of floodwater, according to Mike Welding.

Rainfall on the island this January increased on average by 60 percent compared to last January, according to data from Washington State University. In Coupeville, rainfall nearly doubled with a total of 2.85 inches this year compared to last January’s 1.53 inches.

The National Weather Service predicts more rain starting Wednesday night and will continue to fall through the weekend.

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