Minimal Financial Impact From Flooding, County’s Emergency Operation Center Deactivated

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Although flood warnings are still in effect in Southwest Washington, river levels are expected to recede in Lewis County, and the county’s Emergency Operation Center has been deactivated, except for use to address the COVID-19 emergency.

On Wednesday morning, the Army Corps of Engineers visited the area and confirmed that levees in the region to stave back surging water levels were up to par. According to Emergency Management Deputy Director Andy Caldwell, the visit was proactive, not spurred by any emergency need.

“The National Weather Service weather forecast is for less rain for the balance of the week and dry conditions on Saturday,” a press release from the county read. The county also announced the closure of sandbag stations as of Wednesday. Sand and bags can still be accessed by calling 360-740-1151.

The flooding, beginning over the weekend, cost the county an estimated $30,000, largely due to Lewis County Public Works and Public Utility District employees having to work overtime to address issues such as power lines downed by the storm. Toledo City Hall also experienced a water leak, although the monetary value of the damage has not been assessed yet. Caldwell said there haven’t been reports of private businesses or homes with water damage, although The Chronicle reported this week that some were impacted near China Creek.

“With the minimal dollar values for damages, it is highly unlikely there will be any financial assistance for recovery, but we’ll keep you updated if that changes,” Caldwell wrote in an email.

He noted that while the ground is still saturated, residents should be aware of the threat of mudslides.

Residents can monitor local levels at rivers.lewiscountywa.gov and at https://bit.ly/38TE2bz.

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