Homeowner wants to know who's to blame for massive flood

Homeowner wants to know who's to blame for massive flood
DUVALL, Wash. -- A homeowner who was stuck in the mud after a beaver dam burst near Duvall Monday morning wants to know who's to blame for the mess.

Officials from both King County and the state have said the flooding isn't their problem, but Bob Siko wants answers.

A torrent of water, mud and logs swept across Siko's property after a massive beaver dam broke apart more than a mile away. Siko believes if he and his wife and kids had been outside at the time, the day could have ended in a tragedy.

"This was as as close as you're gonna get to losing your family in a disaster that was outside our front door," he said.

While the house sustained only minor damage, Siko estimates clearing out the tons of debris will cost as much as $30,000. He thinks either the county or state should cover that bill.

"I want to know if there's anything they're going to do to help me clean this mess up," he said.

King County officials inspected the dam last spring after Siko called to say he was worried about a possible breach. A county engineer said there was a potential hazard and his report was forwarded on to the Washington Department of Ecology, which did nothing.

"It held back fives times as much water," Siko said.

A Department of Ecology spokesperson said his agency is sympathetic to Siko's plight, but doesn't have jurisdiction over beaver dams, which are legally the responsibility of the property owners.

The dam that gave way on Monday was on someone else's property, which leaves Siko a little nervous.

"I want to know if there's anything up there that's going to pose a risk in the future," he said.

While King County officials say the county has no jurisdiction, they will assign a geologist to help monitor any more debris that could cause problems on the Siko's property. The county will also expedite any permits required for the cleanup.