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North Sound community reeling after Thursday storm thrashes businesses

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BIRCH BAY, Wash. – Damage from yesterday’s storm is still being tallied in the North Sound.

Roadways in Birch Bay crumbled after a violent storm surge. Plus, a restaurant has been red-tagged after waves came crashing into a popular restaurant.

Birch Bay Drive is finally back open to at least one-way traffic through most of town – before the street was covered in silt and rocks from the bay.

However, there remained plenty of clean up left to do after Thursday’s storm.

“I’ve never seen nothing like this,” said Whitney Harmon. “I’ve lived in this area my whole life.”

“I’ve never seen it this bad,” said George Bennett. “I’ve seen other storms but never nothing this bad.”

What’s normally a quiet and peaceful resort community turned into a chaotic mess after Thursday’s storm.

Powerful storm surge blew out the windows at Bay Breeze Restaurant and Bar.

“The waves are hitting the ceiling and everything just started floating away,” said employee Sue Maconaghie.

By Friday morning crews began salvaging what they could.

“In a couple of months we’re going to get it up and running again,” she said. “We’re getting trucks together to salvage the freezers.”

Birch Bay Liquor Store and several other businesses across the street also flooded.

“All of the sudden there was water pouring in everywhere through the doors and under the breezeway, everywhere,” said Terra Zuidmeer.

Thursday’s storm washed up rocks and logs on to the main road – the surge buckled the asphalt, too.

But if anything, this community is tightly knit and folks here plan to clean up and rebuild after a storm most won’t forget.

“I’ve never seen it this bad down here before,” said Zuidmeer. “It’s awful.”

The county’s department of emergency management told Q13 News it still doesn’t know the extent of the damage of utilities under Birch Bay Drive. That assessment is planned to be determined in the days to come. Fully repairing the roadway won’t be complete until Spring 2019.

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