City relatively unscathed by downpour

Port Orchard’s streams turned into raging rapids Monday as more than five inches of rain dumped onto the city, overflowing the swiftly overburdened storm drains and flooding residents’ lawns.

Crews were able to keep up with the torrential rains for most of the morning, but as the tide started to come in around 3 p.m., evening commuters were stymied by roads that filled almost before their eyes.

The worst problems were caused by the State Route 16 on ramp at Tremont, which had to be closed after the culverts that serve it were overwhelmed. Pottery Avenue and parts of Mile Hill Drive and Bethel Road were also awash for some of the day, although little permanent damage was recorded.

Luckily, most of the culverts had been swept out a few weeks ago and were able to handle the volume of water.

City engineer Larry Curles said the city will still submit a project list for possible emergency federal funding to take care of lingering problems such as inadequate culverts, eroded roadsides and blistered pavement.

“It’s easier for them to tell us no than to miss this opportunity,” he said.

The Karcher Creek Sewage Treatment Plant managed to avoid overflowing, even though the flow level for the day hit 7.5 million gallons — four times the usual volume of 1.5 million to 1.8 million gallons.

Many in South Kitsap suffered their own problems, though. Many homes in the low-lying areas around Southworth and Olalla found their yards and fields had turned to lakes, blocking access to their homes. Fire District 7 responded to 21 separate flood emergencies — a third of its total calls for the day.

City crews heard about at least one woman living just outside the city limits on Arnold Avenue who got flooded out of her home when the banks of Arnold Creek overflowed. Kitsap County, however, will ultimately be responsible for getting the creek banks repaired and the resident back in her home.

Details were unavailable for any other major residential flooding incidents.

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