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Army Corps of Engineers Flood Fight Aid to Communities continues

USACE Seattle District
Published Nov. 14, 2021
Photo showing Seattle District Emergency Operations Center flood response team training Skagit County representatives on how to fill and give sandbags to residents.

Seattle District Emergency Operations Center flood response team provide technical assistance to Skagit County representatives in Burlington, Washington, Nov. 13, 2021. The county will then provide sandbag to its residents. The training was to help the county provide emergency materials to the community in preparation for the atmospheric river event and to mitigate against flooding in the region. Photo courtesy Seattle District Skagit Flood Team.

Photo showing signs of seepage on the landward side of a levee.

Photo taken Nov. 14, 2021 at Fir Island, Skagit County, Washington, showing signs of seepage on the landward side of a levee. USACE, Seattle District Emergency Operations Center flood response teams delivered railroad ballast along Moore Road. The Corps is helping the county's Diking District #22 address a seepage berm issue along about 2,000 linear feet of the levee and will be working through the night. Photo courtesy Seattle District Skagit Flood Response Team.

Photo of seepage berm material being spread along the landward side of the levee to help minimize seepage issues.

Photo taken Nov. 14, 2021 at Fir Island, Skagit County, Washington, of seepage berm material being spread along the landward side of the levee to help minimize seepage issues. The Corps is helping the county's Diking District #22 address a seepage berm issue along about 2,000 linear feet of the levee and will be working through the night. Photo courtesy Seattle District Skagit Flood Response Team.

Photo showing rivers cleared of debris and logs above a bridge in Skagit County to improve access and mitigate against creek bank erosion.

Seattle District flood response team assisted Skagit County representatives with developing plans to clear logs above a bridge in Skagit County, Nov. 14, 2021, to improve access and mitigate against creek bank erosion. Photo courtesy Seattle District Skagit Flood Response Team.

Debris and logs collected from the Skagit River, Washington, Nov. 13, 2021, after the atmospheric river event, which began Nov. 10.

The Seattle District flood response team and Skagit County representatives cleared debris and logs from the Skagit River, Washington, Nov. 13, 2021, after the atmospheric river event, which began Nov. 10 and brought heavy precipitation to the region. Photo courtesy Seattle District Skagit Flood Team.

Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Operations Center and flood response teams continue local flood fight efforts in communities impacted by back-to-back atmospheric rivers bringing heavy precipitation to the region.

The second atmospheric river, that began Nov. 13 late evening, primarily impacted the Skagit River basin in the north Cascades and the Olympic Peninsula and will continue through Nov. 15. The additional rain, combined with saturated soils, will cause river levels to rise again and exceed flood stage throughout Western Washington.  

The Corps is helping Skagit County Diking District #22 install a seepage berm along about 2,000 linear feet of a levee on Fir Island, Washington. The berm will help stabilize the levee during peak flood flows. The flood response team will be working through the night to install the berm and monitor the Skagit levees during the flood event.

A flood response team deployed today to Nooksack, Washington, to meet with stakeholders, monitor vulnerable areas and provide technical assistance. A flood response team, that deployed Nov. 12 to White River, Snohomish County, Washington, re-deployed today to identify boils and seepage issues and advise the county how to mitigate against possible flooding, while another flood response team deployed to meet with the Elwha Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula. The team will monitor levees along the Dungeness and Elwha rivers and provide technical assistance to the Elwha Tribe and Clallam County.

Additional Corps flood response teams are also on alert for multiple basins.

The Corps’ Reservoir Control Center is fully activated and now on 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. It also manages Ross and Upper Baker, two Section 7 (non-USACE) reservoirs in the Skagit River basin, and Wynoochee dam (a Section 7 reservoir) in the Chehalis River basin when pre-defined flood flow thresholds are forecasted in those basins.

The RCC took over flood control operations at Ross and Upper Baker dams this morning. Wynoochee Dam is being closely monitored to determine whether Corps flood operations are required. 

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.


Contact
Scott Lawrence
206-764-6896
aaron.s.lawrence@usace.army.mil
or
Nicole Celestine
206-554-1894
nicole.l.celestine@usace.army.mil

Release no. 21-013