Try Keeping Clam At A Time Like This

Try Keeping Clam At A Time Like This
MUKILTEO - You can't keep clam when things like this happen.

Heavy waves at high tide Tuesday night lifted the Ivar's Restaurant at the Mukilteo ferry dock into the air several times and washed part of the restaurant into Puget Sound.

"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Ashley Young who was standing next to the restaurant when it began lifting off the ground.

"And the first wave comes up and it flushes against the side of the window you know it's like you're in the middle of a sinking ship," said witness Donny Minteer.

The restaurant, which is supported by pilings over the water, was actually more like a ship tossing at sea. Now more than half the deck over the water is gone, broken away, half the waterfront windows smashed by crashing waves. Ivar's General Manager Steve Anderson was inside with about 30 other people when his restaurant started to move.

"Then a couple, about three big waves came and just rocked it and I could see the floor visibly lift about six inches. I felt it, just a little bit. And I was like wow that's not good," said Anderson.

Witnesses outside could see this wasn't good either.

"And we could see the floor buckling two to four feet," said Minteer. "The floor was moving up and down the tables were rising two to four feet."

That's when the restaurant staff ordered everyone out. Steve Anderson was one of the last to leave.

"And right after that, not even a minute later, a gigantic wave just came and boom, just hit the front of the restaurant. And I saw the front of the restaurant lift up about four or five feet in the air and crash back down and that happened about twice in a row."

Power had also gone out to the restaurant and most of the rest of Mukilteo by that point. For a while there were fears of broken gas lines and the ferry terminal right next door shut down as a precaution. But after everyone was accounted for and firefighters secured the scene ferry traffic resumed in heavy waves at 7:45 p.m.

The restaurant, however, might not resume service, or keep clam, for a very long time.

"Oh my gosh the floor was waving," said Young. "It looked like you were on a ride. It was up and down, the tables were shifting, stuff was falling off the tables. It was the craziest thing."

Structural engineers planned to fully inspect the restaurant at first light Wednesday morning to get a full estimate of the damage to the landmark restaurant.