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King County levees undergo repairs in preparation for fall floods

The King County Flood Control Zone District will make major repairs to levees similar to this one of the Green River that play an important role in protecting homes and businesses. - Renton Reporter file photo
The King County Flood Control Zone District will make major repairs to levees similar to this one of the Green River that play an important role in protecting homes and businesses.
— image credit: Renton Reporter file photo

The King County Flood Control Zone District is beginning its first season of levee repairs and other flood-prevention projects on local rivers, some of which are designed to protect homes and businesses in Renton.

It will be the busiest season for levee work by King County in years, and projects will be implemented by the Water and Land Resources Division of King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

“These early action projects represent some of the most important work that we must complete before the fall rains come,” said King County Executive Ron Sims. “Our flood plan protects people, their property and our commerce - and it will be carried out in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The projects in the Renton area are:

• Setting back levees on both banks of the Cedar River east of Renton to restore the floodplain and reduce the risk of damage to nearby flood protection facilities.

• Acquiring the 20-acre Cedar Grove Mobile Home Park, which sits in a dangerous floodplain along the Cedar River in Maple Valley. King County is acquiring the property, which is routinely flooded, and relocating the residents.

Projects in the Kent area on the Green River also will help areas in south Renton and Tukwila, including Southcenter, that could find themselves underwater if a levee broke.

This summer’s busy work schedule of 55 projects is governed by the King County Flood Hazard Management Plan, which was developed by the King County Executive and adopted by the Metropolitan King County Council in 2007.

The plan identifies $335 million in critical flood protection repairs to the county’s aging flood prevention infrastructure.

The County Council in 2007 created a new countywide Flood Control Zone District to manage roughly $35 million annually for flood plan implementation. Members of the County Council serve as members of the district’s Board of Supervisors and receive recommendations from a 15-member advisory committee comprised of elected and community leaders from across King County.

King County’s flood protection system includes more than 119 miles of levees that protect lives and more than $7 billion in economic infrastructure inside the county’s 25,000 acres of floodplain.

To learn more

King County Flood Control Zone District:

www.kingcounty.gov/council/flood_district.aspx

King County flood hazard-reduction services: http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wlr/flood/rivers.htm and www.kingcounty.gov/environment/waterandland/flooding.aspx

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