Corps team again assisting with coastal repair request

Published Jan. 8, 2020

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials extended an emergency declaration January 8 supporting a December Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe request for assistance to stabilize a flood risk reduction berm near Tokeland, Washington.

Seattle District Commander Col. Mark Geraldi declared an emergency December 17 to stabilize the federally-authorized berm that was under threat from heavy rain, storm surge and extreme high tides known as king tides. A Corps of Engineers direct response team placed 4,500 tons of protective rock over 1,800 linear feet December 18-23.

The declaration extension will reinforce between 500 and 1,000 linear feet of the area previously worked on.

“There has been some overtopping and degradation of the structure in that area since it was reinforced,” said district Emergency Management Branch Chief Doug Weber. “We’re also seeing a forecast for more storms, waves exceeding 30 feet and the year’s highest astronomical tide. It needs more than what we were able to place in December.”

Two Corps coastal engineers surveyed the Shoalwater berm January 7, agreeing with tribal officials that it looks vulnerable, especially with the imminent forecast threat. 

“We are extremely grateful for the continuing cooperation from the Army Corps as we protect traditional Tribal lands and residents with this next phase of repairs to the berm,” stated Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribal Chairwoman Charlene Nelson.

A Corps direct assistance team will be on site tomorrow morning. Based on the coastal engineer’s survey it’s anticipated about the same amount, 4,500 tons, will need to be placed in the weakened area.

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 assistance should contact their local government offices.

Bill Dowell
Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe - Mechele Johnson

Release no. 20-001