Bulkhead destroyed, and saga continues

Steve Mitchell 2 min read
Bulkhead destroyed, and saga continues

It’s been a while since I’ve written about our bulkhead permit problems, but at least on that front, we don’t have to worry about permits any more.  Unfortunately, the way we got the permits issued is not one that I’d like to repeat…

Right around Thanksgiving, a bad storm swept through the Seattle area – high winds, snow, and the like.  During the height of the storm late on November 22nd, there was a very high tide.  Combine that with the highest winds my weather station has ever recorded at 53mph sustained, with higher gusts, and our bulkhead was taking a pounding.  Eventually, the weakest part facing north gave way, and the storm took over 30 large boards and more than 170 yards of our land.


Of course, during this time I was trapped in Seattle because of the ice and snow, but connected at one point to the camera we have inside the house.  It was bouncing around, and the microphone was picking up some crazy noises, which I attributed to the wind – most likely it was the bulkhead breaking up.

I wasn’t able to get out to check on things until the 25th due to the weather and road conditions, but I was able to get a hold of some neighbors, and they said our place was OK, but missed the bulkhead damage.

It’s pretty amazing what mother nature can do – we knew that if we had a big north storm, with a lot of wind and a high tide, that things wouldn’t go well.  We didn’t expect it to be this bad.  The island was pretty hard hit with lots of trees down everywhere, and power out for almost 2 days.  By the time I got there to check on things, it was relatively back to normal.


The good news is that within 24 hours of my reporting this to our permit folks, King County, Army Corps of Engineers, and the rest of the agencies gave us temporary permission to start repairs immediately – something we had been trying to get for over 3 years.


Unfortunately it’s going to cost us at least double what we planned on for the original repair job.  Had the various agencies involved actually done their job in a timely fashion, we wouldn’t be saddled with this extra cost.

The repair work started a few days ago – finding all of the parts and pieces to do the work took a few days, as well as lining up people to work on it.  During that time, we’ve lost at least another 30 yards of land.  Hopefully in a week or so, things will be better than they were before, and we can enjoy our place without worry!

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