WHIDBEY ISLAND, Washington — With water lapping at foundations, a group of good Samaritans came together to save almost a dozen homes on Whidbey Island from severe flooding Wednesday.
Christopher Reed, the owner of Barnavit Industries Property and Maintenance, noticed a problem earlier this week at a housing development near the Puget Sound on Mutiny Bay Road outside of Freeland. Reed said water backed up from a faulty culvert had crossed over roadways and was blocking one full-time resident from leaving her house.
Reed monitored the situation and called the county, but it wasn’t until water on eight properties was nearly touching two homes that he knew immediate action was needed.
“We called the county,” Reed said. “They said do whatever it takes.”
With rains coming down Wednesday afternoon, Reed, workers from the nearby MOC Excavating crew, and others with shovels cleared the culvert with a mini excavator, cut away driftwood and pulled away debris. Reed said they completed their work just in the nick of time.
“It was up to the foundation of at least one home,” he said. “It was is close as it could get.”
After intense work, the water finally started to go down, Reed said. And while it was close, only one garage saw noticeable water damage, and one home saw minor flooding. Things could have been a lot worse.
“If the culvert didn’t start draining, it could have breached the beach and opened the homes up to coastal flooding,” Reed said.
“In a small community like this, we all got to work together and it all came together perfectly,” Reed said.
With more storms ahead, Reed said he is taking time to clear the area and make sure flooding like this doesn’t happen again.