Moscow, Pullman working on flood cleanup

Friday in Moscow. The bridge was damaged by erosion when Paradise Creek flooded Tuesday.

The waters have receded, but city staff, residents and businesses in Moscow and Pullman will be dealing with the aftermath of Tuesday’s flood for the foreseeable future.

In Moscow, Latah Sanitation is sending extra 95-gallon roll carts to qualifying Moscow residents affected by the flood as they clean up debris.

Jessica Greene, the administration director for Latah Sanitation Inc., said people can request a maximum four roll carts by calling LSI during the next week or two. Staff will then determine whether the person’s needs qualifies him or her for the carts.

Pickup is scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week, but that may change based on demand.

Pullman and Moscow public works departments are continuing to aid in cleanup and damage assessment following Tuesday’s record rainfall.

Mayors of both towns signed declarations of emergency aimed to make it easier for those departments to make repairs, if necessary.

In Pullman, the declaration allows the public works department to bypass the normal bidding process so it can get started on repair projects sooner.

Pullman City Administrator Adam Lincoln said the city normally has to get bids from three contractors for public works projects, but city officials can forego that process under the declaration.

Lincoln said they are still working on contracts for flood-related repairs.

Lincoln said Tuesday evening’s flood damaged sidewalks on North Grand Avenue and State Street where the water washed out the rock base, thus eroding structural integrity.

He said crews are cleaning streams, removing debris and cutting down trees that may worsen future flooding.

Pullman is in contact with affected businesses to see how it can help, and officials have been talking with student volunteers from Washington State University about assisting the cleanup.

The city applied for a state of emergency declaration from Gov. Jay Inslee, and state representatives will visit Pullman again next week to determine how much state government money the city can qualify for.

Lincoln said the amount of damage may not be enough to qualify Pullman for “full-blown” state of emergency assistance, but affected businesses could get low interest loans from the Small Business Administration to help cover damage costs. Lincoln said the owner of Rolly’s Ice Cream on North Grand Avenue told him one private company she contacted gave her a quote of $10,000 to repair her business.

Moscow City Supervisor Gary Riedner said Moscow’s declaration of emergency allows it to apply for financial assistance from state and federal officials. He said after the historic 1996 flood that hit the Palouse, Moscow applied for disaster relief funding and FEMA arrived to assist in the cleanup.

He said Moscow Public Works on Friday offered to help residents pump standing water out of their homes. According to Moscow’s Facebook page, parks staff having been clearing debris and making repairs to Kiwanis Park and Hordemann Pond.


Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to akuipers@dnews.com.

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