Thursday, January 08, 2009

Kalama River forced RVers to higher ground

Longview Daily News - Longview,WA,USA
KALAMA — David Paradelas waded through three feet of frigid water to help a Camp Kalama neighbor clear the area shortly before the Kalama River completely flooded it Wednesday.

Evacuations orders arrived around 10 a.m. from owners of the camp, an RV park and campground located just east of where the Kalama River passes under Interstate 5.

Paradelas, 54, said there wasn’t much time to act.

The site cleared within an hour, according to neighbors.

“I said you are the hero of the day,” said Paradelas’ wife, Debby, also 54.

By that afternoon, a new reality had set in. The couple’s RV sat dark and quiet in a Port of Kalama parking lot where camp tenants were relocated. No electrical or water hookups were available.

Larry Robinson, a nine-month Camp Kalama resident, said he’s been expecting flooding for several days, but was surprised by how quickly waters rose on Wednesday. He estimated it rose by a foot per hour after water poured over the east bank of the Kalama River.

“Right now it’s under about three feet of water,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “This really caught us quickly.”
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