Sorry, an error occurred.

Sign up with

Thank you .
Your account has been registered, and you are now logged in.
Check your email for details.
Invalid password or account does not exist
Sign in with
Submitting this form below will send a message to your email with a link to change your password.
An email message containing instructions on how to reset your password has been sent to the e-mail address listed on your account.

Secure & Encrypted
Secure transaction. Cancel anytime.

Thank you.
Your purchase was successful, and you are now logged in.
A receipt was sent to your email.
Chad Clark
Guest columnist

Chad Clark
Guest columnist
Skagit County was hit hard by November floods as the Skagit River pushed toward a height of 40 feet in some places.
It seems many learned something from this historic flooding that lasted for what seemed like a month.
The Sheriff’s Office stayed very busy with a multitude of rescue-type calls.
We may not yet be out of the woods with flooding, so here is some information that could save your life.
Signs that say “Water over roadway” are there as a warning even when the road is still open.
Sometimes the water has risen since the warning sign was placed, so drivers should take that into account before going forward.
Many times, drivers will see these signs and not slow down enough. Their vehicles can stall in the roadway, causing a potential traffic accident.
Road-closed signs are placed on the roadway when the road is deemed not passable and is extremely dangerous. 
The Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls when vehicles got stuck in deep moving water and the occupants had to climb on the roof of their vehicles for safety.
Each call creates an emergency that needs to be dealt with immediately. Our deputies and search and rescue volunteers do their best to respond as quickly as possible. However, when multiple rescue calls come in, we must prioritize the most serious first.
On Highway 530 in Rockport, we recently responded to a person stuck in a tree who escaped a vehicle and clung to the tree to get out of the swift-running water over the roadway.
As we were responding to that call, another vehicle attempted to drive to the person in the tree and stalled in the middle of the deep running water.
We now had three people to rescue.
Our search and rescue volunteers in a river boat attempted to launch and respond, but it was unsafe, and after a few attempts the boat was eventually tied to a guard rail.
A Navy helicopter from NAS Whidbey rescued the person from the tree. A logging vehicle drove into the floodwaters on the other end of the road and rescued the other two people from their car.
Many calls came in about people who were stranded in their houses and escaped the water by climbing to the rooftops.
We rescued 24 people in one day from their homes. Most of the rescues could have been avoided if evacuation measures were followed.
Many pets were left behind by homeowners as they couldn’t get them out.
The next day, many of those people went back to their homes in a boat or on foot through the running water to get their pets.
As you can imagine, this created another level of concern for us and our search and rescue crews in the event those people needed to be rescued.
The Sheriff’s Office investigated burglaries that occurred when people left their homes for a drier environment. Unfortunately, some of these homes were victimized as a crime of opportunity.
When you leave your home, remember to lock everything up, and if possible, take the most valuable items you can carry.
Please obey the road signs during these flood events, keeping you and your family safe. Also, remember that when you risk driving through flooded roadways, you are potentially putting first responders at risk to save you.
 Chad Clark is undersheriff of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. Send questions to:
Chad Clark
Guest columnist
Your comment has been submitted.

There was a problem reporting this.
Log In
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.