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Pullman issues state of emergency after flooding

While city crews can only help clean up the exterior of the businesses, several groups and Washington State University students have come forward offering to help with interior clean up.

WHITMAN COUNTY, Wash. — The city of Pullman declared a state of emergency Wednesday following significant flooding.

Whitman County is expected to issue a state of emergency on Monday. 

City administrator Adam Lincoln said Thursday a representative from the state emergency management team is coming to town to assess the damage. This will determine if the flooding damage qualifies for a state of emergency.

Lincoln said the city is working with the Pullman Chamber of Commerce in hopes of getting a state grant. He said the money would be used to help businesses impacted by the flooding.  

The city said those who are displaced Pullman and Whitman County can contact American Red Cross volunteers Fredrick Tribble at (509) 657-3790 or Mike Bullard at mabullard@gmail.com for assistance.

While city crews can only help clean up the exterior of the businesses, several groups and Washington State University students have come forward offering to help with interior clean up. The city of Pullman is even coordinating these volunteer efforts with the WSU Center for Civic Engagement.

City officials are not sure how long it will take to clean up debris left behind from Tuesday night's flooding.

A handful of businesses in Pullman are closed after flooding caused extensive damage to the area.

KREM reporter Kierra Elfalan says Carnahan Chiropractic, Snap Fitness, State Farm and Mobil gas station are closed. 

Shane Carnahan, the owner of Carnahan Chiropractic, said there's $100,000 to $150,000 in damage just to his equipment alone. He said the space is a total loss since he doesn't have flood insurance. 

Thanks to the support of the community, he said he may have somewhere he can set up shop for the time being so he can continue to see patients. He's hoping his business will be back in the next couple months.

Pullman Police posted drone footage from above Grand Ave. showing the extent of the flooding.

Elfalan said she also saw extensive damage to the parking lot of Sunshine North Laundromat and the property that once housed Cougar Country Drive-In. 

Cougar Country was listed for sale for $1.9 million in early March. 

Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said the water has receded and he is focusing on taking all the steps he needs to help the Pullman community following this flood.

The City of Pullman said that water remains over roadways in some areas on Wednesday, including Morton Street near Reaney Park and Riverview near the City Playfields.  

Tuesday's flooding in Pullman primarily impacted Grand Ave. between Stadium Way and Whitman Street. There were nine blocks underwater on Tuesday, according to the Pullman Police Department.

Grand Avenue has since reopened on Wednesday morning as flood waters have receded. 

Officials asked people not drive through that stretch of road. Pullman police said they rescued someone who drove through the deep waters and got stuck. 

Pullman Police said they responded to four businesses along Grand Ave. to evacuate occupants, including one where 16 people needed to be rescued. 

That business was so full of water that the power had to be shut off due to safety concerns, according to the Pullman Police Department.

Though Grand Avenue has reopened, damage from flooding is still apparent on Wednesday morning.

Police said occupants in four other businesses along Grand were able to leave on their own or were told to shelter in place. A building in an apartment complex also filled with water and extensive damage is expected, police said.

A viewer sent KREM a video of the flooding on Grand Ave. 

Warning: The video below contains inappropriate language

Over the past seven days, the Palouse has received more rain than both Seattle and Olympia. Pullman got 2.22 inches of rain since April 3rd. This is a record for the particular 7-day stretch.

The National Weather Service reported 1.21 inches of rain at Pullman-Moscow Airport in 24 hours as of 5 a.m. on Wednesday. That is a new record for the date. 

Residents and officials in Pullman also took to social media to document the Grand Avenue flooding on Tuesday.