USACE providing flood assistance to Western Washington

Dec. 8, 2023
In response to ongoing heavy precipitation, the USACE Seattle District has been operating to provide regional flood assistance across Western Washington.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Seattle District began work to temporarily raise a threatened levee to help protect the City of Hamilton, Washington from flood risks.

The Seattle District’s Emergency Operations Center and Reservoir Control Center (RCC) are continuing their response to multiple atmospheric rivers and ongoing heavy precipitation impacting the region. Both centers are operating 24-hours a day assisting with regional flood fight efforts.

In addition to the direct assistance to Hamilton, the Corps of Engineers also provided a large pump to the Quinault Indian Nation, 10,000 sandbags and 300 super sacks to communities in Grays Harbor.

National Weather Service officials are predicting several Western Washington rivers to reach flood stage with significant impacts to occur in the Skagit and Snohomish River basins. USACE Emergency Management personnel are also monitoring several other rivers for potential impacts.

USACE personnel are also deployed to Skagit and Snohomish counties and continue monitoring river conditions.

The Corps of Engineers owns and regulates Mud Mountain Dam on the White River, and Howard Hanson Dam, on the Green River. Both reservoirs are near empty and have storage space available to reduce flood risk on those rivers.

The Corps of Engineers began directing operations at Seattle City Light-owned Ross Dam and Puget Sound Energy-owned Upper Baker Dam in the Skagit River basin during the Dec. 4 evening’s heavy rain. Ross and Upper Baker dams are mandated to provide storage space in their reservoirs for Corps of Engineers’ use during Western Washington’s flood season.

Public Law 84-99 enables USACE to assist state and local authorities in flood fight activities and cost share in the repair of eligible flood protection structures. The purpose is to prevent loss of life and minimize property damage associated with severe weather.

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