SEQUIM — Bothell transplant Norvin Knight is jokingly considering a cattail garden at his new Dungeness-area home.
He moved into his three-bedroom home on Buds Way off Nisbet Road in November and for the past month, water has surrounded his and neighbors’ homes.
From Hogback Road looking south, the water stretches across the neighborhood and up to Knight’s garage.
Going closer to Knight’s home along the private roads, standing water and muddy driveways become increasingly prevalent. Knight and neighbors say water has just started to recede.
“I’m just baffled,” Knight said. “The frustrating thing is that you can’t pump it anywhere.”
Knight said the water at Christmastime wasn’t at the level it is today.
Neville Atkin, who lives south of Knight, said he moved there in 1998 and flooding “has never been this bad.”
“I have 2 acres of lake,” he said.
Record rainfall might be partially to blame. On average, the Sequim-Dungeness area saw 23.07 inches of rainfall in 2015, with more than 6 inches of that coming in December.
Dave Lasorsa, environmental coordinator for Clallam County Public Works, went out with fellow county staffers in early March at the request of residents.
Moved home back
Neighbors warned him that water sometimes comes up on the front of the property, so they moved the home to the back of the property and built the foundation 1½ feet higher.
“We’re lucky we were warned,” McCarry said. “We were able to construct the way the owner wanted with minimal impact.”
Steve Gray, deputy director and planning manager of Clallam County Community Development, said despite flooding, county staff hasn’t proposed any moratoriums on new developments or septic tanks in the area.
County staff did recommend a drainage plan for residents but has not heard back from the homeowners association, he said.
Lasorsa said one solution for homes on Green Valley Lane could be to create a berm across the back side of neighboring properties for additional drainage so the water doesn’t come up from the back side.
As for future developments, he recommends McCarry’s course of action: building close to the hillside and on high foundations.
Those down closer to the water like Knight will have to wait out the water.
Knight said he has been planning to sell a hot tub, but the water is so high, he can’t get a truck down there to remove it.
“[With flooding], that’s just the odds,” he said. “You play the odds in everything you do.”
Michael Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected]