UPDATE | Flash flood devastates South Whidbey neighborhood

GLENDALE — Residents of the Glendale area south of the Clinton ferry dock were wakened early Friday morning by the sound of a freight train bearing down on their neighborhood.

Since the island has no railroads, it had to be something else; a roaring, rushing wall of mud and water caused by a plugged culvert on a nearby hill and the backup of Glendale Creek, swollen from recent rains. Thousands of tons of mud filled with rocks and trees came rushing through the shoreside community after Glendale Road could no longer block the rising water and gave way.

Nancy Boyle's waterfront home sits at the end of Humphrey Road.

"At 2:30 a.m., the fire department banged on the door and told me to evacuate," she recalled.

"I packed a few things, grabbed my dogs and tramped through mud two-feet deep. The water was rushing under my Toyota and I could see a big red container bashing into other homes," Boyle said. "I jumped in and got out of there. I didn't know I could move so fast."

By Friday morning, Island County road crews and private contractors were working to clear the mess, but the damage is severe.

"This could have been avoided," said resident Mike Thompson. "The people here are going to meet and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't take legal action."

Video by The Seattle Times.

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