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Posted 12/10/2015

Release no. 15-054

Tanya King


Patricia Graesser

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, flood teams remain out in several basins around the Northwest to respond to flooding and a predicted coastal storm.

Skagit, Snohomish, Olympic, and Chehalis flood teams and White River levee walkers remain out with local communities. Work is wrapping up today in Lyman along the Skagit River and at the Hoh Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula. The Corps also has a team on the Stillaguamish, repairing Federal levee damage, placing rock within the footprint of the existing levee.  The Olympic Peninsula team will stay out until the threat from the predicted combined coastal storm and high tide passes.

Additionally, the Corps flood team is monitoring the Quinault village sea wall, or revetment, during the high tides and is assessing to see if any damages are occurring that would reduce the reliability of the structure.  In October 2014, the Corps repaired the revetment that protects the village from ocean waves during large coastal storms. This current coastal storm is the largest storm since 2007 and is testing the recently repaired revetment.

The Corps operates dams in the White/Puyallup, Green/Duwamish, Skagit and Wynoochee basins for flood risk reduction. The Corps’ operation at Howard Hanson Dam reduced flood impacts downstream by holding back inflow as high as 20,000 cubic feet per second to a maximum outflow of 6,500 cfs.  Likewise operation of Mud Mountain Dam for flood control held back inflow of about 22,500 cfs to 6,000 cfs outflow during the peak of the floods.  While inflows have now dropped substantially, the public should be prepared for continued high outflows in the near future as dam operators release stored water to make room in the reservoirs for potential future high inflows.

While releases from Mud Mountain Dam are expected to stay below the official flood stage of 8,000 cfs, the Corps will periodically monitor conditions today in the Pacific and Sumner areas on the White River because of the unpredictability of channel capacity there.

Reservoir data from Corps reservoirs are available on line at:   

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

Private citizens seeking sandbags should contact their local government offices. 

The National Weather Service issues Flood Watches and Warnings.

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