Rainstorm causes havoc in the valley for a day and night

By Chaz Holmes-The Courier-Herald

By Chaz Holmes-The Courier-Herald

Last week’s rainfall led to several evacuation recommendations in and around Sumner.

At 3 p.m. Nov. 12, the city recommended evacuations of residential areas near the Puyallup River.

Rainier Manor, Rivergrove Apartments and the Riverwalk condominium units adjacent to the river were recommended by the city as evacuation areas. Evacuation was encouraged, but not mandatory.

Sumner communications director Carmen Palmer said most residents heeded the advice.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue also recommended evacuation of the Riverbend and Bowman-Hilton areas south of Sumner.

Shortly before the recommendations were issued, estimates predicted the Puyallup River to crest at 29 feet.

By 5 p.m. Nov. 12 the Puyallup River crested at 26 feet and by 8 p.m. it crested at 28 feet.

“We have lots of tools to give us ideas, but rivers are unpredictable,” Palmer said.

The Sumner Senior Center was initially considered as a warming shelter on Nov. 12 so people could stay confortable, but closed at 5 p.m. because the Mount Ranier Chapter of the American Red Cross opened shelters at Cedar Springs Community Church in Graham and at Buckley Hall in Buckley.

The senior center resumed regular hours the following day and the shelters were no longer open.

The last of the evacuation recommendations was lifted at 7:45 a.m. Thursday.

Reach Chaz Holmes at cholmes@courierherald.com or 360-802-8208.