Corps of Engineers assisting with Northwest flood fights

Published Dec. 9, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, is running its Reservoir Control Center 24 hours per day and has sent flood teams out to basins around the Northwest to respond to heavy rains and forecast high coastal waves.

“The Corps has sent out its Skagit, Snohomish, Olympic, and Chehalis flood teams and White River levee walkers and continues to coordinate with counties and emergency managers,” said Doug Weber, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Emergency Management Branch Chief. 

Work is ongoing today at the Hoh Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula and at Cook Slough in the Stillaguamish basin, and work is planned to assist Snohomish County at Startup on the Skykomish River.

The Corps operates dams in the White/Puyallup, Green/Duwamish, Skagit and Wynoochee basins for flood risk reduction. The Corps is operating Wynoochee, Howard Hanson and Mud Mountain dams for flood control, holding down outflows to reduce the risk of downstream flooding.

While releases from Mud Mountain Dam are expected to stay below the official flood stage of 8,000 cfs, the Corps has river spotters on site in the Pacific and Sumner areas on the White River to monitor conditions because of the unpredictability of channel capacity there. Inflows to Mud Mountain Dam have been as high as 21,000 cubic feet per second and the Corps is managing outflows to reduce impacts downstream to the extent possible.  

Reservoir data from Corps reservoirs are available on line at:   

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. 

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-051