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Benson Creek Road Residents Sort Their Life Out Of A Torrent Of Muck

Anna King
Northwest News Network

Residents are digging out from flooding that looks 300 yards wide in some places after mudslides brought down hillsides and torrents of mud ran down creeks outside of Twisp, Washington, Thursday night.

The Carlton Complex and other fires in Okanogan County stripped vegetation from hillsides and made it vulnerable.

A mobile home stood apart in the middle of Thursday night’s mudflow like the prow of a ship. Helicopters buzzed the damage.

Greg Scharrer and Aaron Dunlap were trying to dig out a half-buried Honda Element with shovels.

They planned to find other accommodations for the night. On what was once the driveway, boulders now litter the scene.

It’s a lot of motion,” Dunlap said. “Especially that one up near your truck. That gigantic white boulder. I mean that wasn’t there yesterday. That had to come from somewhere.”

What worries the emergency management team boiling through information back in Twisp is five smallish lakes above Benson Creek. One or two of the lakes have compromised dikes.

But all the lakes are full and the sky is threatening again.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.