Flood bulletin helps Pierce County residents prepare

Are you prepared for a flood? This week, more than 19,000 Pierce County Flood Bulletins were mailed to residents who live or own property near flood hazard areas. The bulletin provides tips on preparedness, information on flood insurance, and the history and causes of flooding.

The bulletin also is available at http://www.piercecountywa.org/flood by calling (253) 798-2725, or by e-mail at pcwater@co.pierce.wa.us . You can also request a free flood hazard map for your property or any parcel in Pierce County.

Heavy rains, snow melt in the mountains and changing river systems can cause flooding. Just six inches of moving flood water can knock an adult down, and as little as two feet can carry a car away.

When flooding occurs, Public Works and Utilities, the Department of Emergency Management and other first responders work around the clock to ensure residents’ safety. If waters rise to potentially threatening levels, county staff and River Watch volunteers are dispatched. They report flood problems back to the County’s Emergency Operations Center, which then determines the necessary response.

Pierce County’s flood Web site offers flood warning announcements and the ability to check flooding conditions for the Puyallup, Carbon, White and Nisqually rivers; links to sign up to receive emergency messages via land line, cell phone, email or text message from the Department of Emergency Management’s Pierce County ALERT notification system; and information on the Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan. The plan is being developed to reduce risks to public safety, minimize damage to public and private property, reduce river maintenance costs and maintain or improve habitat conditions.