Pierce County releases flood management plan

Pierce County Wednesday released its proposed plan to manage flooding and channel migration hazards on major rivers, large tributaries and associated floodplains over the next 20 years.

The draft Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan is a comprehensive approach to reducing damages from major river flooding and channel migration, protecting public safety, and improving fish habitat. The plan’s associated draft Environmental Impact Statement, also released on Feb. 29, evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the plan, as well as two alternative approaches.

“Pierce County landowners, businesses and residents can be severely impacted by flooding,” said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management manager. “This plan addresses vital areas, such as reducing risks to life and property, and identifies flood hazard management activities that are both cost-effective and environmentally sensitive.”

Residents are invited to attend an upcoming public meeting about the draft Flood Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement. Project staff will provide an overview and answer questions. The meeting will be held on Tues., March 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Sumner High School’s Commons Room, 1707 Main St., in Sumner.

The 45-day comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement runs from Feb. 29 to April 13. Verbal and written comments will be accepted at the March 13 public meeting. Residents may also submit written comments by US Mail or email to Adonais Clark, Responsible Official, Pierce County Planning and Land Services Department, 2401 S. 35th St., Ste. 175, Tacoma, WA 98409 or aclark@co.pierce.wa.us .

The draft Flood Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement will be presented to the Pierce County Planning Commission on April 24. The commission will make recommendations to the Pierce County Council on the draft Flood Plan. The draft Flood Plan and final Environmental Impact Statement will be brought before the Pierce County Council for consideration and adoption in 2012.

In 1992, Pierce County adopted the Puyallup River Comprehensive Flood Control Management Plan for the Puyallup, Carbon and White rivers. The draft Flood Plan is proposed to replace the 1992 plan and expand its scope to include the Nisqually, Greenwater, and Mashel rivers and South Prairie Creek.

In December 2009, a committee was formed to advise Pierce County on technical and policy issues related to the draft Flood Plan. The committee included 26 representatives from federal, state, local and tribal government, business, agricultural, and environmental organizations, flood prone communities, and other interested parties. In addition, 11 public meetings were held between March 2010 and June 2011.

Scientific studies were completed to provide a better understanding of Pierce County river systems. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the potential economic impacts of major flooding in Pierce County was completed.

The draft documents are available in a variety of formats. Please visit http://www.piercecountywa.org/floodplan for a list of available formats and to view related information.

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Pierce County receives $450K for Puyallup River flood study (02/14/12) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2114701&more=0

Flood bulletin helps Pierce County residents prepare (11/22/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2074193&more=0

Flooding resources available in Pierce County (11/22/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2074179&more=0

Tacoma City Council to discuss Pierce County Flood Control Zone District (11/21/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=2073005&more=0

4 meetings to provide update to Pierce County’s Rivers Flood Plan (05/24/11) — http://www.tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1979749&more=0