Saturday, January 10, 2009

Damage assessment begins

Wow. Two 100 year floods in just two years. That's our reality. The Northwest Railway Museum completed the last of the flood damage repairs from the November 2006 flood in April 2008. Now new track washouts dot the Museum's railway line between a point just east of the new Conservation and Restoration Center and a point just west of the Snoqualmie Parkway. This is about 2 miles in all. (The attached image shows bridge 33 over Kimball Creek, but still partially submerged. When the flood crested, there was about 2 feet of water over the bridge deck. If you click on the image it will display a larger version. Click here to see additional photos on the web site.)

There is some really good news: there is no damage to either the Snoqualmie Depot or the Conservation and Restoration Center. The Depot did not get any water and the Conservation and Restoration Center got just a trace (less than 1/2 inch) that weeped in the cutouts for the rail. So some floor areas have to be sprayed with a bleach solution to disinfect but today the building is back in use for collection care work.

Now the bad news: there is work scheduled on the locomotives and coaches that needs to be performed inside the Conservation and Restoration Center where there is protection from wind and rain. But they are sitting in front of the depot so the track will have to be repaired before any work can take place.

Recovery will probably be slower than we all wished but we are planning to have full service restored in time for the regular season of train excursions in April. However, we can always use help so give a call or drop a note to the director Richard A. or the volunteer manager Jessie C. or the collection care manager Bill H. Please click here for their contact information.

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