The Emergency Operations Center at the Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is activated in response to an atmospheric river and heavy precipitation impacting the region.
Several Western Washington river are expected to rise to flood stage with significant impacts predicted to occur in the Skagit, Snohomish and Snoqualmie river basins. The Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Skykomish, Carbon, Nisqually, Puyallup, Chehalis, Cowlitz, Newaukum, and Skookumchuck rivers are also being closely monitored. Rain is anticipated to continue through today with rivers expected to crest Saturday.
A Corps team providing direct assistance to the City of Mount Vernon began work Thursday to repair an eroding segment of a Skagit River levee near Lions Park. Crews are stabilizing the levee by placing rock armor along a 150-foot-long damaged section on the left bank of the river to mitigate against levee failure during the flood. The levee provides protection within the City and unincorporated Skagit County to include public infrastructure, downtown Mount Vernon, residential structures, businesses, and utilities.
Engineers in the Corps’ Reservoir Control Center are monitoring conditions and are prepared to 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 Ross and Upper Baker dams in the Skagit River basin and Wynoochee dam in the Chehalis River basin when pre-defined flood flow thresholds are forecasted in those basins.
In addition, flood response teams are on alert for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Nooksack, and Chehalis River basins. Flood responders have been deployed to the White River to monitor conditions and the Corps is providing sandbags to Skagit and multiple locations on the Olympic Peninsula.
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 and should be consulted for that information.