Town of Cusick prepares for the worst

Experts urging people to prepare for more flooding

CUSICK, Wash. - The rural town of Cusick, Washington, rests along the Pend Oreille River. Experts are urging people to prepare however they can, as water levels are rising.

A lot of people in Cusick are bringing up the year 1997. 

That year, the Pend Oreille river covered the right field of the baseball diamond. That's the last time the river really threatened the town with flood water, and this year they're preparing for the worst.

"It seems to be fluctuating," said Mike Lithgow.  "We're getting updated data everyday."

Mike Lithgow and his small team from the Kalispel Tribe were working all day Wednesday to monitor the kind of risk their buildings face in the coming days.

"We've sandbagged one home already, and we're sandbagging another home of a Kalispel resident. So yeah, we're preparing."

Representatives of the Kalispel Tribe were not the only people watching the Pend Oreille River Wednesday afternoon. The mayor herself had an eye on the rising water levels.

"When we hear about elevations," warned Mayor Chris Evers.  "The school is at 20.51. As is our sub station, which is our electricity hub here. When we hear it might go to 20.50 - already the school has plans to put our electronics in the gym. Up in the higher levels, in the bleachers."

Evers has a vested interest in the school - it's where the elected official also works as a counselor.  She was not raised in Cusick - but the Alabama native has certainly adopted the history of her town

"Evert time we've had a flood, river road came in - that's a major dyke, years and years ago. After '97 there were more levies put in down by Tacoma Creek, so we hope each year to keep in more manageable."

Mayor Evers continues to publish information on the Cusick town hall Facebook page - and urges her community to count on each other, come what may.

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