Pend Oreille flooding to get worse, homes already taking on water

Pend Oreille flooding to get worse, homes already taking on water

The flooding emergency continues in the Inland Northwest, as flooding on the Pend Oreille River is only expected to get worse.

The town of Cusick is trying to beat the clock and prepare for the unexpected. The work is already underway in the town to keep the river at bay. The Army Corps of Engineers spent Monday building a levee through parts of town.

“We are bracing and as ready as we can be,” said Jennifer Lee, the Cusick town clerk.

But for some homes in the area, the flooding has already taken its toll.

In Newport, David Hamilton and his wife have watched their home slowly take on water. Their first floor, a daylight basement, is now covered in more than two feet of water.

“Sometimes you’ve got to pinch yourself and go ‘is that our house?'” Hamilton said.

Hamilton’s backyard is nowhere to be seen. He now takes a boat to remember what it used to look like.

He says some good news, though, is that his home was prepared for this.

“The house was built to be flooded. It’s all cedar inside and out,” he said. “There’s no dry wall in the house at all.”

Meanwhile, the county is going out to residents, making sure that more homes don’t end up looking like Hamilton’s.

“We’ve got people driving the roads, talking to folks to see what the needs are. So, we’re trying to fulfill those with our volunteers the best we can,” said JoAnn Boggs, the deputy director for Pend Oreille County Emergency Management.

But it’s now a waiting game for Hamilton and his wife. They’re waiting to see if the waters will indeed rise.

“Hopefully Mother Nature’s going to be nice to us. It would be nice,” he said.

They’re also waiting to see what things will look like when all is said and done.

“It’s enjoyable to a point if you want to go fishing. But, really, what’s this going to be looking like when all this goes away?” he said.