MOUNT VERNON — Al Lyon recalls stacking sandbags with about 2,000 others in 2003 when a rising Skagit River threatened downtown Mount Vernon.

His business, Lyon’s Furniture, sits in the river’s flood plain, and the sandbag barrier was built a few feet behind his building. He said many business owners were on hand that day stacking some 150,000 sandbags.

“It (the river) rose about as fast as we could build,” Lyon said. “I didn’t think we’d make it.”

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