The landmark Snoqualmie Falls was a furious cataract as thousands of cubic tons exploded down its 268-foot drop. As it has been for many a local, it was the most impressive display I had ever seen.
Odds are, the Spirit of the Falls is angry at her children, the Snoqualmie Tribe, for desecrating their sacred homeland by having Jessica Simpson as the opening act at the new casino.
Thursday afternoon, when these photos were taken, was relatively benign, with no rain or wind and with a hint of sun shining through the clouds. However, visitors standing on the observation deck at the Falls were buffeted by water spray and 20-25 mile per hour winds, caused solely by the combination of water and gravity.
As the river cascaded over the Falls, the force of the drop caused sheets of water to splash back up about 150 feet high.
The worst appears to be over, at least for much of the flooding situation in Western Washington's river valleys. I-5 in Chehalis has re-opened after the threat of two fathoms of water cresting over the roadway forced state officials to close it down. Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass have now been cleared as well. The Puget Sound basin is no longer cut off from the rest of the world, allowing a steady supply of groceries, Californians and copies of the Stranger to flow uninterupted back into the region again.
But the aftermath of the January floods is still being felt in local communities that are still cut-off and under water.
Yesterday Fall City was a lake engulfed by the Snoqualmie River, with routes into town only navigable by emergency vehicles.
Approaching the town from the east, the Fall City-Snoqualmie Road was shut down about a mile and a half out of town with anywhere from six inches to two feet of water rushing over the asphalt. Across the river, pictured above, the Twin Rivers Golf Course is now simply one big six-foot deep water hazard.
The King County Sheriff's Office was in the middle of conducting rescue operations. Callers to local talk radio programs had related that residents of Fall City were being rescued with helicopters.
While chatting with staff of the All Pets Go To Heaven pet cemetary, which was just above the floodwaters, an Iroquois (aka Huey) helicopter from the Sheriff's office was in the middle of retreiving residents (rumored to be an "older couple") unable to leave their home.