Youth center damaged by sewage leak

Youth groups that call the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Activity Center (YAC) home are scrambling for meeting places after the building was deluged by raw sewage on Saturday, March 22.

Only clean-up workers who have been inoculated can go near the building, which was submerged in six inches of human waste when a pipe broke at the sewage plant up the hill. Public works employees labored all day without breaks to contain the flooding, which did not reach the river or affect nearby homes.

The extent of the damage was unknown at press time, but it's unlikely the facility will be usable any time soon.

"The enormity of it hit us when they suctioned out the waters and were scraping out pile after pile of human waste," said Joel Yoker, who volunteers to sit on the board of the facility, and leads a Boy Scout troop that uses the building.

One displaced scout troop planned to meet at Centennial Field on Tuesday night, while leaders worked with the city of North Bend to find meeting facilities for the children.

The YAC, at 356 Bendigo Blvd. N. in North Bend, was built in the 1950s by Valley residents, and has been maintained by the community.

"It's really community-owned and community-driven," Yoker said. The YAC's main source of income is cheap rentals by people using it for parties and functions. It was built as a meeting place for youth, and various Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and Venture crews meet there, paying small dues. Hundreds of Valley youth use the YAC every year.

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