Corps of Engineers preparing for potential Northwest flooding

Published Nov. 12, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, put its Emergency Operations center into operation and is preparing to initiate 24-hour operation of its Reservoir Control center in anticipation of predicted heavy rains and high coastal waves.

The Corps has loaned King County and the City of Kent flood fight materials to reinforce the Briscoe School Levee on the Green River during this flood event. The current forecast triggered phase one of their plan to construct emergency protective measures.

The Corps is also assisting the City of Everett and the Union Slough Diking District with re-enforcing their levee. Crews will add material to previously damaged areas of the levee in order to reduce risk of levee failure.

“The Corps has put flood fight teams on standby and is in communication with local counties and emergency managers,” said Doug Weber, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Emergency Management Branch Chief. 

Heavy rain is forecast through Saturday, and the storm is expected to include high winds and surf on the coast, with large waves potentially up to 22 feet.

The Corps operates dams in the White/Puyallup, Green/Duwamish, Skagit and Wynoochee basins for flood risk reduction. Dam operators have drawn down reservoirs to typical seasonal levels in preparation for the fall and winter flood season.

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.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-044