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Quileute Reservation Cut Off By Flood Waters

Heavy rain around La Push, Washington, has cut off the Quileute Indian Reservation.
National Weather Service
Heavy rain around La Push, Washington, has cut off the Quileute Indian Reservation.

Heavy rains have flooded the one road in and out of La Push on the Washington coast. That means the 300-400 residents of the Quileute Indian Reservation are cut off.

Rio Jaime is the tribe’s vice chair. He managed to make it into the town of Forks using a gravel emergency evacuation route, but he said that road is not passable for most vehicles.

“It’s a graveled, logging road that hasn’t been in use for a long time,” he said. “Normal vehicles are essentially trapped on the reservation unless you have a four-wheel drive or off-road type vehicle. That’s the only way to go up and down this particular logging road.”

Jaime said he’s spoken with tribal members who need diapers and other provisions, but can’t get into town. So far La Push itself hasn’t flooded, but Jaime says he’s concerned about the combination of high tides and the rising Quileute River.

The tribe has been trying for years to move to higher ground. Land has been set aside by Congress, but Jaime said the cost of moving is still prohibitive.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Austin Jenkins
Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."
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