Friday, January 23, 2009


Buddy Chambers walks through the side door of his flooded mobile home earlier this month. Chambers, is long-time resident of the Wheel In Mobile Home Park near Tacoma, and drives trucks for a living. He lives with his partner Kelli and their cats.

Many towns throughout Western Washington were flooded the second week of January. Our photo staff was sent to several counties to cover sandbagging, evacuations, rising water and the aftermath. The first day out, my DOP Barry Fitzsimmons sent me to River Road, a stretch of unincorporated Pierce County outside of Tacoma and Fife. There, I met Buddy and Kelli. They own a mobile home, next to Clear Creek and the Puyallup River.

Buddy and Kelli went back to their flooded trailer to rescue their cats and grab a few clothes. It was Kelli's first time being flooded. Buddy said they do not have flood insurance because it is too expensive. Their neighbor Kurtis Wolfe helped them transport their pets by canoe.



The next day, in the town of Pacific, a flooded backyard didn’t deter Gianna Guerra, 10, (in red) and friends from jumping on the trampoline Friday at White River Estates. Guerra’s father transported her and her brother Christian Guerra Jr., 7, (behind in black) to the Hernandez home where they met their friends, including Chris Hernandez, 12, and Karina Hernandez, 10.

All images copyright Erika Schultz or The Seattle Times