Pierce County task force to address flood issues

Pierce County has initiated an Executive Task Force to consider flood protection measures on the lower Puyallup River. Joining the county on the task force are the cities of Tacoma, Fife, Puyallup, Sumner, Buckley and Orting, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Washington State Department of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, Port of Tacoma and area chambers of commerce.

The ETF was created to address flood-related and floodplain mapping issues affecting communities along the river. “The county is committed to pursuing flood control system improvements to reduce flooding impacts on our community,” said Harold Smelt, Surface Water Management manager.

A recently completed Phase 1 Flood Protection Investigation study is a first step. The study evaluated current flood-related conditions along the river and projected conditions as they will be in 50 years if no new flood protection project is undertaken. The study can be accessed at http://www.piercecountywa.org/pc/services/home/environ/water/cip/lpuyrivleveeinvest.htm .

Over the next few months, the task force will be reviewing the Phase 1 study, discussing possible solutions and financing and determining which solutions to recommend for a Phase 2 feasibility study.

The public is invited to attend the task force’s next meeting Sept. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the City of Tacoma transmission conference room, 2201 Portland Ave. E., Building A, Tacoma. The agenda includes a public comment period at the end of the meeting. Parking at this facility is limited, and attendees are encouraged to carpool.