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High tide and heavy rains flood Gig Harbor park and restaurant, photos show

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 7, 2022

The Gig Harbor Police Department posted photos to Twitter that showed water covering Skansie Brothers Park at high tide Friday.   (GIG HARBOR POLICE DEPARTMENT)
The Gig Harbor Police Department posted photos to Twitter that showed water covering Skansie Brothers Park at high tide Friday.  (GIG HARBOR POLICE DEPARTMENT)
By Kristine Sherred and Alexis Krell Peninsula Gateway

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Netshed No. 9 in Gig Harbor had been open for about an hour Friday when high tides — above 14 feet this week — collided with runoff from heavy rains across Western Washington.

Water “just pushed in,” said co-owner Katie Doherty.

The breakfast restaurant posted a photo of chairs and table legs submerged in water around 9 a.m. Friday. Soon after, the Gig Harbor Police Department posted photos to Twitter that showed water covering Skansie Brothers Park.

“There was some amazing tidal overflow,” the agency’s post said.

Police Chief Kelly Busey said via email that the photos were taken at high tide and that the water receded when the tide went out.

The restaurant paused service, as staff hurried to sweep the water back out to the bay.

“Between the best team in the world and a good guest with a floor dryer, we were back open by 10:30,” Doherty said in a text message.

Though the restaurant’s tone in their social media posts sounded cavalier, the waterfront restaurant has not previously flooded on their nearly 10-year watch.

“We knew from previous tenants in this spot that it could occur,” she said. “When the tide is super high and you get a storm surge, the water attacks from two sides: The tide brings it in from the dock and then drains in front of the building overflow.”

Fortunately, when she and her husband Thad Lyman designed the space, they boosted equipment a few inches off the floor and kept electrical high on the walls. She thinks they evaded any damage from the momentary water run-in.

Elsewhere in the county, West Pierce Fire & Rescue posted a photo of homes flooded along Sunset Beach Road West.

“Anywhere waters are high, please do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn around. Don’t drown!” the post said.

“It’s happening all over Puget Sound,” Busey wrote. “A combination of a 13.37 foot tide (normal for this time of year), a very low barometer, and a lot of water runoff/snow melt all created this phenomenon.”

He said the agency wasn’t asking residents to take any specific precautions, except to use common sense in places with high water.

“I have heard that some waterfront homes were slightly flooded this morning, but I don’t have any detail,” Busey wrote. “There is no infrastructure damage of which we are aware.”

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