High tide and heavy rains flood Gig Harbor park and restaurant
Netshed No.9 in Gig Harbor had been open for about an hour on Friday when high tides – above 14 feet this week – collided with heavy rain runoff in western Washington.
The water “just came in,” said co-owner Katie Doherty.
The breakfast restaurant posted a photo of chairs and table legs submerged in water around 9 a.m. on Friday. Shortly after, the Gig Harbor Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing water covering Skansie Brothers Park.
“There has been an incredible tidal overflow,” the agency’s post said.
Police Chief Kelly Busey said by email the photos were taken at high tide and the water receded at low tide.
The restaurant interrupted service as the staff rushed to get the water back into the bay.
“Between the best team in the world and a good guest with a dryer on the floor, we were back at 10:30 am,” Doherty said in a text message.
Although the restaurant’s tone in its social media posts seemed cavalier, the waterfront restaurant has yet to be inundated during nearly 10 years of surveillance.
“We knew from previous tenants at this location that this could happen,” she said. “When the tide is really high and you get a storm surge, the water attacks from both sides: the tide brings it from the dock and then flows past the overflow of the building.”
Fortunately, when she and her husband Thad Lyman designed the space, they raised the equipment a few inches off the ground and kept the electricity high on the walls. She thinks they have avoided any damage caused by the momentary inflow of water.
Elsewhere in the department, West Pierce Fire & Rescue posted a photo of flooded homes along Sunset Beach Road West.
“Anywhere where the water is high, please do not walk, swim or drive in flood water. Turn around. Don’t drown! said the post.
“It’s happening all over Puget Sound,” Busey wrote. “A combination of a 13.37 foot tide (normal for this time of year), a very low barometer, and a lot of water runoff / snowmelt created this phenomenon.”
He said the agency was not asking residents to take specific precautions except to use common sense in places with high water.
“I heard that some houses by the water were lightly flooded this morning, but I have no details,” Busey wrote. “There is no infrastructure damage that we are aware of.”
This story was originally published January 7, 2022 12:50 pm.