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Flooded homeowners in Pacific pleading for a buyout

Data pix.

PACIFIC, Wash. -- Residents in Pacific are bracing for more flooding because the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the Mud Mountain Dam.

Vicky Nelson, who lives in the White River Estates neighborhood, says she's ready to leave at a minute's notice.

"I'm packed. I have my suitcases packed. I'm ready to jump in my car and head out to my son's house in Lake Sammamish, far, far away," said Nelson.

Back in 2009, the Corps released 12,000 CFS of water from the dam, flooding many homes, including Nelson's on White River Drive.

"That was the scariest experience of my life. I'm not exaggerating. My heart started pounding. I came out here and saw a lake. I called 911 and they said go to your courthouse and get sandbags and put them around your house. I said, no, I'm underwater," remembers Nelson.

This time around, the Corps is releasing the minimum 6,000 CFS of water and impacts will be minor. They also have river spotters in areas of concern and are monitoring gauges.

But Nelson says she and her neighbors are sick of shelling out thousands of dollars due to flood damage and have been pleading with King County to buy them out.

"Year after year, it's almost like, you don't know what to say anymore. It feels like it falls on deaf ears," said Nelson.

King County bought out some homes in the White River Estates neighborhood to build a levee, but the Flood Control District says it doesn't need the land on the remaining homes there for the project. The county is not ruling out buying additional homes if they need the property for the project.

Pacific Mayor Leanne Guier says the levee should alleviate flooding for residents like Nelson once it's complete. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.

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