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National Guard helping flood-fighting efforts

National Guard helping flood-fighting...

SPRAGUE, Wash - The Washington National Guard is deploying 40 guardsmen to help fight flooding in the eastern Washington town of Sprague. 

The guardsmen will arrive Monday afternoon. State resources were freed up Friday when Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency for 20 counties fighting flooding throughout the state.

Over the weekend, the Washington Conservation Corps filled sandbags and found pumps in Sprague to help residents fight the rising water. Homeowners report flooded basements and cracking foundations, along with trees falling because of saturated ground.

"We've got three pumps now," said homeowner Phyllis Vallone. But, the pumps just can't keep up and four feet of water now cover her basement. "It's going down and inch and a half, maybe two inches a day."

But, the damage is done. The water left a crack in the foundation, running from the middle of the basement and up a wall to a window.

The City of Sprague is trying to keep up as well. The main road is lined with sandbags.

"We ended up having to lose an old bridge," said city council member Tracey De Garmo. "We still have roadways under water at this time."

The emergency declaration covers every county in eastern Washington.

"The continual rain showers and early snow melt creates the potential for rising waters, destructive landslides and damage to our critical infrastructure, including our power grid and transportation system," Gov. Inslee said. "This is a proactive move to ensure that state agencies are able to do everything reasonably possible to help communities recover quickly in the event major damage occurs." 


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