Forty-three Colville area residents have reported $384,866 in damage in the April 23 flash flooding that washed out roads, yards and foundations.
Most of the private property damage reported to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Department occurred along Gold Creek about six miles west of Colville in the Huckleberry Mountains.
The creek also washed out a 1.2-mile section of Monumental Road and contributed substantially to the estimated $596,000 in damage to county roads.
County officials have little hope that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will grant their request for financial assistance. They say it seems unlikely that all the public and private property flood damage throughout the Inland Northwest in April will meet an informal $10 million threshold for federal disaster aid.
Federal officials say it will take several more weeks “before they can definitely say no,” county Engineer Jerry Bryant quipped.
Meanwhile, Gold Creek residents are talking about suing the state Department of Natural Resources over logging they suspect contributed to the flooding.
Ron and Joanne Delles said 35 to 40 neighbors crowded into their living room last week to discuss the issue.
“I think it’s fairly clear that most of the people here thought there were acts of negligence,” Ron Delles said. “There was talk of an injunction to stop further logging up there (in the Gold Creek drainage), … but we don’t have a real consensus yet.”
The Delleses, who suffered $20,000 in damage, and their neighbors have no flood insurance because it is not available to people who live outside designated flood plains.
Weather history for Colville is not readily available, but it appears the April 23 rainfall was one of the heaviest on record.
The National Weather Service measured 1.1 inches of rain in Colville on the day of the flooding, and the Colville Junior High School weather station measured 1.3 inches - roughly half the entire month’s precipitation.
The largest one-day April rainfall recorded in Spokane since 1888 was 1.01 inches in 1982.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: RAINFALL The National Weather Service measured 1.1 inches of rain in Colville on April 23, and the Colville Junior High School weather station measured 1.3 inches.