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Town of Conconully recovering from Fourth of July flash flood

The town of Conconully was hit with a foot of mud and water on July 4.

CONCONULLY, Wash. — A Fourth of July flash flood flowed through the streets of the tiny town of Conconully in remote Okanogan County, sending a foot of water and mud into 30 to 40 homes and businesses.

"The creek was coming over the bridge," said resident Angie Eberhart. "The whole thing was clogged up with trees and debris and water was just gushing all the way through."

Eberhart owns Kozy Kabins, a cabin rental and RV site. Several of her cabins were damaged. 

"Well, I've never been through a natural disaster before," she said. "I was literally just like, oh my God, what the heck is happening?"

Emergency managers say 1.7 inches of rain fell in the 36 hours leading up to Monday's flood. Most of the rain fell in just two hours.

There are no reports of serious injuries. Some campers were stranded for a time, but are all reported as being OK.

At least one home that was about 90% complete was destroyed.

"I talked to the owners yesterday," said Okanogan County Director of Emergency Management Maurice Goodall. "Their kitchen cabinets were actually sitting out of the box on the floor ready to be installed when the flood came."

At least one other resident is said to have "lost everything."

The north fork of Salmon Creek spilled over its banks, running right down Main Street and into Conconully State Park, which was full of people celebrating the Fourth of July. The park was evacuated without incident.

By Tuesday, the tiny town of just 210 people was in full clean-up mode. Neighbors pulled out backhoes and other heavy equipment to move debris. Piles of mud stood more than 5-feet high in people's yards.

Teenagers went door-to-door asking if anyone needed help. 

"This is this town," said Eberhart. "This is Conconully for ya."

Despite their circumstances, most wore friendly smiles as they shoveled pound after pound of muck from their properties. They each seemed to be brimming with pride at how their community was dealing with the small-scale disaster -- their independence on full display this Fourth of July.

"I can tell you this, no one is out there complaining," said Goodall.

"Conconully, when something happens here we really pull together and help one another," said Eberhart.

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