Residents frustrated after Wide Hollow Creek flooding


YAKIMA, Wash. -- A flood advisory is in effect after warmer temperatures caused major flooding in parts of Yakima on Friday.

Wide Hollow Creek crested, leaving streets and properties swamped with water. Some residents say it's a problem that goes beyond weather conditions.

Gushing water from the creek caused several street closures and damage to neighboring homes. Debris and giant pools of water still remain.

And for resident April Gillett, frustration has set in.

“It was pretty scary,” said Gillett. “I got home, it was up behind my house in the back.”

She said it isn't the first time her home next to the creek has flooded. But despite efforts to stop it, she said more water backs up from broken trees, brush, and accumulating garbage.

“I haven't seen anybody at all up this whole way cleaning out this creek to make sure it doesn't do this,” said Gillett.

And with melting snow from warmer weather, disaster was bound to happen.

Red Cross officials set up resources for victims at Summitview Church of Christ.

Teams with Yakima County's Emergency Management Office (YCEMO) were out early to assess the damage, collaborating with city agencies to do everything they can.

“There's still a lot of standing water in the fields and various low areas which typically flood,” said YCEMO Director Scott Miller. “We probably saw about $70,000 worth of infrastructure damage.”

But emergency officials said streams are now within their banks and the worst is over.

“We're not expecting any kind of event in the immediate future like what happened last night,” said Miller.

Still, residents aren't out of the woods, as more snow melts further out toward Tampico. Gillett said better maintenance of the creeks is needed to ensure less destruction.

“I'm only one person, and I work and I can only do so much,” said Gillett.

Hoping mother nature runs a different course.

Emergency management officials said the flood warning is now an advisory for the rest of the weekend and water levels are being closely monitored.

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