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Sandbags dispersed after flooding emergency declared

Seven locations throughout the county have stacks of sandbags ready to be picked up by those citizens fighting the rising waters.

After a rain-drenched January brought mudslides and flooding across the county, the Kitsap County Commissioners declared an emergency on Monday at the request of Phyllis Mann, director of the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management (DEM).

Mudslides have caused about $1.5 million in public damages throughout the county. The emergency declaration signed by commissioners allows Kitsap County government to assist citizens in mitigating any flood damage, according to DEM officials.

“South Kitsap has been hit the hardest,” said Elizabeth Ratliff, spokeswoman for DEM. “There has been some flooding (in Central Kitsap), but doesn’t seem to have been as much.”

Those areas in Central Kitsap that saw the worst of the flooding due to recent heavy rains include Anderson Hill Road/Anderson Hill Park, Island Lake, and Silverdale Way, between Myhre Road and Randall Way. Flooding in the Bremerton area hit Rocky Point Road, Lake View Avenue and the 900 block of Washington Street. Mudslides also were reported in the Seabeck, Illahee and Brownsville areas last week. Although there have been recent breaks in the weather, more rain is expected today, followed by mostly cloudy skies tomorrow, according to The Weather Channel’s Web site www.weather.com.

“We’re happy for these breaks, the water is able to recede,” Ratliff said. “But it depends how the weather holds out.”

Each distribution point has been provided with about 400-500 sandbags, according to Ratliff. The most, however, have been distributed in the South Kitsap area.

Because DEM is always prepared for flooding emergencies, 5,000 sandbags were already filled and ready to go when the emergency declaration was made on Monday.

“We had them already to go at our road sheds,” Ratliff said. “Now we’re backfilling to have them on-hand as we use up the supply.”

The county is urging citizens who have or are experiencing flooding to contact DEM to let staff know of any damages.

“We are interested in knowing where the worst areas are,” Ratliff said.

Citizens can contact the department at (360) 307-5870 or via e-mail at dem@co.kitsap.wa.us.

There have been a few calls recieved, mainly flooding in basements and outside structures, according to Ratliff.

DEM offers these tips when placing sandbags:

• Construct the sandbag dike on high ground, close to your home or building.

• Dig a trench one bag in depth and two bags wide as a foundation for the dike structure.

• To be effective, a dike must be three times as wide at its base as it is high.

• The open ends of sandbags should be facing upstream and/or uphill so that the moving water will not remove the sand from the bags as readily.

• Alternate direction of sandbags with bottom layer i.e. bottom layer lengthwise with dike, next layer crosswise.

• Carefully walk on bags to stamp them into place.

• Each layer should be set back one-half sandbag width on both sides in each additional layer so a completed dike has a triangular cross-section.

• Place sandbags outside of doors where water might enter your home.

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