Intern’s View: Great-Grandparents Survive Orting Flooding
by Josh Hart
With all the flooding recently I wanted to find someone to talk to about what happened to them. I realized that someone very close to me had been affected, my great grandma and grandpa (Betty and Glen).
When I talked to them about the flooding this is what I found out:
Last Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 7th), they started to get phone calls from Pierce County Emergency Management saying that they should move to a higher location for the night. When Glen went to the store he saw that the water was getting pretty high on the roads. They debated leaving; they hadnâ€™t had any flooding in their housing area yet.
They finally decided they were in danger when two fire trucks drove through the area with sirens on and announcing to everyone to “evacuate immediately” over their loudspeakers.
Their housing area is in Orting, between the Puyallup River and the Carbon River. Both rivers were over their banks and were starting to flood the roads. Many of the stores were closing so they decided they would leave the area.
They were worried and didnâ€™t know what to expect. They didnâ€™t know what belongings they should take with them or how long they would have to be out of the area. They had many people offer them a place to stay but didnâ€™t know where the best place to stay was. Many of them were too far to drive to at the time, because traffic was so bad.
That night they stayed at a motel in Sumner and listened to the flood news on TV. The next morning it seemed like it would be safe to go home. So at about 9am in the morning they headed back to their housing area in Orting. It took them longer than usual, because the traffic was bad again.
While they were driving home they saw some places that were underwater. As they crossed the Carbon River, the water was coming right up to the banks. Despite the dangerous conditions, they got home safely and found that there was no damage to their yard or their house. It seems like their housing area hadnâ€™t been affected at all.
They were thankful everything was safe and they were happy to be home with all their belongings and things they cherish safe and unharmed. â€¨And I am happy that my great-grandparents were spared and harm or damage.
However beautiful Orting is, it can still be very dangerous, not because of the two rivers, but because it lies in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh Hart is the B-Town Blog’s first Intern! He’s also a 15-year old student at Highline’s â€œBig Picture High Schoolâ€ in SeaTac.
You can read more of his writing here…]