Renton

Flooding danger forces 100s of Renton residents to move

Flooding danger forces 100s of Renton residents to move »Play Video
A 1990 Cedar River flood destroyed numerous homes.
RENTON, Wash. -- The land is sold and the homes will soon be gone.

That includes the nearly brand new porch owned by Melvin and Denise West.

"It's going to kill me. That river, I love it," Denise West said while overlooking the Cedar River.

She and hundreds of her neighbors will have to abandon Renton's Riverbend Mobile Home Park soon.

King County officials say the river can be dangerous, like it was in 1990.

It crested that year and caused massive damage. So the County purchased the entire park for $6.8 million and must relocate every single owner and renter.

King County's Linda Holececk said a flood similar to 1990's would level the homes.

"It could pretty much take one event, and (the river) pretty much goes where it wants to," she said.

Similar to eminent domain, the county will pay for price differential, rent supplements and moving expenses.

It will also means the deck Denise West loves so much will go away. As will the community pride of a quiet backyard, where only the river is heard.

"This is all going to be river where we're at right now," West said.

The move will happen in phases, with those living closest to the water leaving first. Appraisals will being later this month.