Seattle Corps of Engineers activates Emergency Operations Center

Seattle District
Published Jan. 12, 2021

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, has declared a district emergency and activated its Emergency Operations Center Jan. 12. The emergency declaration by Col. Alexander “Xander” L. Bullock, Seattle District commander, is in response to National Weather Service forecasts for western Washington rivers to exceed flood stage with the most significant forecasts in the central Cascades. Rain is anticipated to continue through today with rivers expected to crest Wednesday.

A USACE team is providing technical assistance to the City of Everett with assessing one of their levees and making recommendations for emergency protective measures. Another USACE flood response team is assisting the Quinault Tribe with assessing damages to their seawall in Taholah, Washington.

Engineers in USACE’s Reservoir Control Center began 24-hour operations to monitor conditions and respond to forecasted flooding. The RCC manages and regulates Mud Mountain and Howard Hanson Dams, both located near Enumclaw. Both reservoirs are near empty and have storage space available to greatly reduce the risk of flooding on those rivers. They also manage reservoir storage at Ross and Upper Baker Dams in the Skagit River basin during flood events, and at Wynoochee Dam on the Olympic Peninsula where the Corps began directing flood risk management operations early this morning.

Flood fight teams are on alert for the Olympic Peninsula and Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Green, and Chehalis River basins.

Public Law 84-99 enables USACE 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 and should be consulted for that information.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 21-001