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Originally published January 8, 2009 at 11:06 AM | Page modified January 9, 2009 at 1:11 AM

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In Duvall, all roads lead to deep water

Residents of Duvall are cut off by flooded roads, uncertain of when they'll be able to get in — or out.

Seattle Times staff reporter

At 8:30 this morning, Garrett Travers was pondering how to reach the Duvall home he shares with his girlfriend, Karen Bee.

Back in November, he had paid $26,000 for a 2008 Chevy Silverado.

To drive or not drive his shiny new SUV across the flooded mile-long stretch of Northeast Woodinville-Duvall Road where it crosses the Snoqualmie River Valley.

The east half of the road was covered with murky water and was rising by the minute. On the north side of the road, where in the summer you can drive by crops of corn, there now was a lake.

Travers, 23, who had just gotten off his night-shift job at Microsoft, where he maintains air-conditioning systems, decided that being careful was the better choice.

"This is the highest road in the valley, and this one never closes when it floods," he said.

But today it was shut down.

Travers text-messaged his girlfriend, asking her if she could find him a nearby motel in which to stay the night.

Bee is a medical assistant at a Seattle hospital, and she had to call in today to say she was stranded.

Among those who needed to get to Duvall was John Frazier, a firefighter medic.

At 8 tonight, he is supposed to be on duty at the Duvall Fire Department.

Frazier remembers how late at night during a flood in November 1990, a couple with a baby decided to drive across this stretch of road.

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Their car was surrounded by rising water and the couple — the wife clutching the baby to her chest — left the car and attempted to scramble to safety. Firefighters rescued the mom and child, but the husband drowned.

Even from the distance of the fire station, said Frazier, "we could hear them yelling."

It turned out that Frazier likely will be able to get to his medic job tonight. He got a call on his cellphone.

The Fire Department will send its 24-foot aluminum boat to pick him up, a boat at the ready just for the times such as these.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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