County declares emergency from recent rainstorm

Source: The Wenatchee World

WENATCHEE — The Chelan County Commission passed an emergency resolution Monday to deal with the damage from heavy rainstorms over the last two weeks.

The rainstorms resulted in a mudslide across South Lakeshore Road in Chelan, a sinkhole on South Wenatchee Avenue and a temporary closure of No. 2 Canyon Road, according to the Chelan County emergency resolution. The emergency resolution gives Public Works Director Eric Pierson the ability to bypass the public bid process to get work done, Commissioner Bob Bugert said.

The cleanup of South Lakeshore Road, near Slide Ridge, and fixing the sinkhole on South Wenatchee Avenue are ongoing, Pierson said. Road crews should have Lakeshore Road open to two lanes by this weekend, but they are still assessing the sinkhole on Wenatchee Avenue.

The county will hire a construction company to remove additional material along the side of the road that will continue through next weekend, he said.

It has taken a while to clean up Lakeshore Road slide because the mud along the road is a “slurred rock mixture that takes a while to congeal,” Pierson said. The county also has cleanup work to complete in the city of Entiat and Manson, which is delaying some roadwork. 

In total, the rainstorm probably caused more than $150,000 in damage, Pierson said.

The emergency declaration also gives the county the ability to apply for FEMA funding, he said. But FEMA funding has several requirements, including an emergency causing about $10 million in damage statewide before grants are distributed.

It is unlikely the rainstorm caused that much damage statewide, Pierson said. The Chelan County Flood Control Zone District will probably reimburse the county for the costs related to the damage, he said.

The county was already in the design phase for projects to prevent rainstorm damage on both Wenatchee Avenue and Lakeshore Road.

The county wants to build a bridge near Slide Ridge to allow debris to pass under the road, Pierson said. That project is about two years out from construction.

The county is also looking at plans for preventing erosion on South Wenatchee Avenue, he said.