[8/12/19] Mudslides Force Wenatchee Families Out

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Families were displaced and homes were buried in a flash flood and mudslide below Squilchuck Road on Saturday. Chelan County Emergency Management Sergeant Kent Sisson said three homes were damaged, several people had to be rescued from one home, but no one was injured.

Shortly after 5 Saturday evening, as a strong lightning and rain storm moved through the area, the extremely heavy rain caused mud and debris flows in the Squilchuck Canyon, Pitcher Canyon and Halverson Canyon areas southwest of Wenatchee. Storm drains and culverts quickly became overwhelmed as water and mud began running down the roadways.

A culvert that diverts water under lower Squilchuck Road began eroding the downslope hillside above Boodry Street just south of city limits. The force of the water created a deep channel in the earthen slope and forced a massive amount of rock and mud down the hillside and into a development of single-wide mobile homes. Deputies and Wenatchee Police officers responded and began evacuating the development. A river of mud, rock and other debris hit the north side of three mobile homes nearly to the roof lines.

Children were carried out of one home by deputies and Wenatchee police officers. Three of the mobile homes are now deemed uninhabitable.

The flow of water, rock and debris began to slow by 6 Saturday evening, but the storm wasn’t over. Residents of 16 homes were advised they should stay out of the area until the storm completely subsides. Chelan County Public Works engineers and road crews responded and began assessing the slope and clearing the affected roadways. The local Red Cross Office was contacted and was put in touch with residents of the affected homes. Cleanup will likely take weeks.