Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a state-of-emergency proclamation for Okanogan County Thursday. This, after severe rainstorms pounded the area this month.
The rains last week ended in flash floods, mudslides and debris flows that blocked two state highways. On State Route 20 near Twisp, a massive waterfall was flowing over the road the morning after the storm. A two-mini-van-sized chunk of asphalt just sheared off to the centerline and into the stream below.
The storms came at an especially bad time for for this area. This is one of the high-times for their tourism business. Residents have been trying to recover from the fires and to get tourists to feel like it’s OK to come back. Now some of the major roads that bring people in are cut off.
Homes, farms and public utilities were all damaged in Okanogan County. The estimated cost to fix the blocked roads is more than $800,000.