County urges people to report storm damage

Skamokawa News


January 13, 2022

NASTY WEATHER--I wrote last week that the rains were coming and that I had hoped we wouldn't get hit too hard, but unfortunately, that didn't happen. Sadly, our area and most of our state, simply got hammered with the relentless rainfall that melted the mountains of snow we already had and along with high tides, brought massive flooding everywhere! So, we went from over a foot of snow, to multiple feet of water, which covered all of our valley floors and washed out culverts, tore up the blacktop and destroyed roads, stranded animals, brought down hillsides of trees and mud and well, it was pretty doggone distastrous. I'm sure you've seen plenty of pictures of the flooding and heard plenty of harrowing stories by now and I think we can all agree that we hope the nasty beginning to this new year does not get repeated any time soon! While more rain is scheduled, forecasters say this will not be "significant rain" so we hope they're right.

We began Sunday morning with temperatures below freezing so it was very frosty, with plenty of ice in our outside water buckets as well as icy conditions on the roads. Early in the morning that bare looking pavement was actually a sheet of ice and made for some very slick conditions in many areas besides our own, so it was still not a time to "zip around." Thankfully the clear skies and sunshine thawed things out a little later.

REPORT DAMAGES--The Wahkiakum County Department of Emergency Management would like to hear from you if you had damages caused by this recent flooding. You can take their survey at: If you're not a big online person, or you have any questions, you can also contact Beau Renfro by emailing him at: or you can call him at 360-751-7876 or 360-465-2202.

LIKE THE RAIN?--Just to be clear, not all rain is bad and not everyone detests it, although I'm not sure the folks who have their property underwater are big fans of it right now, but anyway, did you know that there is a name for people who truly enjoy the rain and when they hear it falling, it brings them peace? No? I didn't either, but there is and if you're one of those people, you would be called a "pluviophile" and I can tell you without a doubt, I am not one of those people!

SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from Jan. 13-19 are Bruce McClain, Theresa Kuljis, Vanessa McClain, Bill Mahitka, Kara McNally, Roy LaBerge, Russ Durrah, Jan Silvestri, Joey Moore, Jerod Moore, Elaine Robinson, Brittney Robbins, Randy Rodahl, Ashley Turner, Trystan Mendez, Bernice Tover Ellison (96), Holly Pedersen Norton, Shane Pedersen, Reese Brown and 67'er Enid Martin Fountain. Have terrific birthdays, everybody!

Belated birthday wishes go out to Alicia Boldt Benjamin, who celebrated her special day last week.

A new birthday was added to the list when Lori Wika mentioned that she had a new grandson who was born at the beginning of last week. Kristian Ivan Veys came into this world at eight pounds, six ounces and was 20 inches long, so he wasn't real little. Needless to say, we offer our congratulations to Kristian's parents and grandma Lori and all the other family members as well.

Happy Anniversary wishes go out to Mr. and Mrs. Gary Bergseng, Bill and Krista McGuire and Chris and Holly (Pedersen) Norton. Here's to enjoying those annivesary celebrations with the one you love!

COMMITMENTS NEEDED--Kenneth Johnson, who is the CEO/GM for Western Wahkiakum Telephone Company, is looking for potential customers to hook up to the new fiber-optic extension that they are planning for this side of KM, which will serve Skamokawa and go all the way to County Line. In order to prevent any hold ups, they would like at least 65 customers added to their list, which will help prevent any delays in going forward with this project. So, if you'd like to have better/faster internet service, please fill out a Broadband application form. If you're old school like me, you may need a paper one, or you may just want to find out first hand what this is all about so contact Ken Johnson at his office: 360-465-2211 or call his cell, 360-485-2741.

ALSO COLLECTING--Besides dropping off warm clothes at the Puget Island Fire Hall in their collection barrel, you can also drop off your "Give the Gift of Warmth" donation at River Mile 38 Brewing Company in Cathlamet. Both places are gladly accepting hats, scarves and gloves and other cold weather items that would help those who are desperately trying to keep warm, so please donate if you can. This clothing drive lasts through the end of the month but don't delay as this month is already half over!

FEATURED--If you happen to belong to the Sons of Norway, you may have noticed one of our very own, Jan Silvestri, pictured in the monthly "Viking" magazine. I failed to mention this when it came out; sorry about that, but it was in the September, 2021 issue on page 30, under the District 2 section. Jan is our Helgeland 030 Lodge President and recently celebrated 50 years of membership, so that's quite an accomplishment. Her picture was taken at the local lodge, the Norse Hall, situated on SR 409 on Puget Island. If you'd like to become a member or to learn more about the Sons of Norway, you can contact Jan at 360-431-1705.

LEGION CRAB FEED--Everyone is hoping that there are no more weather disasters or roadway closures, like slides or washouts, so that all those holding tickets on the east side of the county, can head to the annual Crab and Oyster Feed on the west side of the county! This annual event is held by the American Legion Post 111 at the Rosburg Community Hall on January 29 and the doors will open at the usual time of 6 p.m. Tickets had been selling fast but you can contact Danny Eaton to see if there are still some available, 360-849-4451. By attending this event, you help support our local chapter of the American Legion as well as help keep the Rosburg Community Center open as the two have joined forces and we all know how important it is to keep meeting places like this up and running for the good of the community.

NEED NEW PERMIT--It may be wet and soggy out there but that doesn't mean you don't need a burn permit to light a fire around here and as this is a new year, you need a new permit. These are things we often forget about as we've had one all year, but 2021 is gone so you'll need to head to the courthouse and secure another one. They have two kinds: for a small fire which lasts all year, and then there's the special large fire permit that appears to only be good for one day. Even though you have the permit, it states right on there that before you burn, you need to contact the Sheriff's office to get on their list, so be sure you speak up before you light it up or you may wind up getting a visit from someone in the fire department.

SURPRISED--I just heard of the closure of the Helping Hands Food Bank at the Seventh Day Adventist Church and was certainly surprised by that. I didn't hear of a reason, but I hope those that utilized it will be able to find other help within the county. We certainly appreciate all the hard work that those who have worked there have done over the past many years.

THINGS TO PONDER--Valentine's Day is a month away but beings the days seem to slip by faster than ever, you might want to start planning on where you're treating your sweetie to dinner! Also, if you have a class full of school kids or Sunday School kids, why not think of making homemade Valentines and send them off to the Veterans. You can find places to send them to online. Of course, you could keep it local and give them out to the elderly near you who may not get much mail and would love to receive a card. Remember, no glittery anything should be sent to them as many have health problems and all that glitter is very dangerous to their airways and breathing machines, etc. Anyway, just a couple things to think about. Don't say you weren't warned about Valentine's Day! Here's hoping our local eateries will have some nice dinners planned for that special occasion and the weather behaves so we can celebrate it!

Also, there will be a Flea Market at the fairgrounds the second Saturday of February starting at 9 a.m. and there will also be bingo at the Norse Hall, which opens its doors at 5:30 and starts their games at 6. The members of the Sons of Norway hope to see you there.

OUT OF THE PAST--This week back in 1942, it began with freezing cold weather, however they woke up to sunshine the next day and so it was a really nice day. Carol Pedersen came over to town by 7 a.m. with her two sons and met with her Mom, Elsie Everest and her sister, Marian Healy. The two little boys helped their Grandpa Everest hitch up the horse and headed out to get some wood but they dropped off little 4-year old Frankie at the home of Leon and Marian Healy beings Leon's mother, Gertie Healy was already there watching her grandkids, Gene and Donna Healy. The three Everest gals were all together as the Juniorettes were meeting at the home of Elsie Everest. The next few days were beautiful and everyone was sad to have that come to an end by the time the week was over. Mrs. Shamley and Jean Bussone came by the telephone office to pay Elsie a visit. Peder Pedersen, son of Jonas, was very ill and was taken to the hospital in Astoria with severe pneumonia. His sisters, Grace and Norma, were both nurses and they'd be taking care of him while he was there. Frankie Pedersen was sick with a sore throat and inflamation and the doctor came over and said he had laryngitis. Mrs. Grosbeck was also feeling miserable and it seemed many in the community were feeling ill. With the new telephone system in to Puget Island, the Everests could now contact their daughter Carol. However, the phone bill saw charges of between 5 cents and 20 cents, to which Grandma said, "The last of this!" Ha! The largest call billed was when a family member passed away in Minnesota and it was a whole $1.30. The grand total of the calls made between Dec. 12 and Jan. 8 was $7.30; shocking! This week was the birthday of Ralph Everest's mother, Libbie Phelps Everest. She was 71.

The war news wasn't good, and submarines on the east coast were playing havoc with shipping so some things were in short supply. The sad news on Jan. 17 was that a bomber crashed, killing nine servicemen near Pendleton, OR. That same day an air transport plane wrecked and killed 21 people which included Carol Lombard and her mother. All this according to my Grandma Elsie Everest's diary.


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