Northwest NEWS

January 8,2001

Front Page

King County seeking public input on Snoqualmie River channel excavation

by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   CARNATION - King County wants to hear again from those who may be affected by the Snoqualmie Flood Control Project. The project, proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is designed to ease flooding in the city of Snoqualmie, but may increase the depth of high water downstream from Snoqualmie Falls.
   The project is sponsored by the city of Snoqualmie and King County and involves river channel excavation above Snoqualmie Falls. The excavation is expected to lower flood elevations throughout the city and to significantly reduce flood damages to residential and commercial properties. The project is proposed to begin in the summer of 2001.
   The county informed residents during earlier meetings that, while flood depths in the Snoqualmie area could be reduced up to two feet, flooding in the Lower Valley could increase by as much as an inch in a 100-year flood event.
   Impacts of the higher flood depths are expected to be the greatest in the Fall City and Carnation areas.
   The proposal consists of widening both banks of the channel bottom, using blasting to remove rock and earth. The project would also include removal of the railroad bridge near the city of Snoqualmie and about 2,100 cubic yards of earth.
   The proposal drew some criticism during a meeting of residents and county officials in March. Farmers living along the riverbanks in the Fall City and Carnation areas were concerned that the possible one-inch increase could make a big difference in the effects of a large flood.
   At the March meeting, a county survey was distributed requesting comments and preferences on the list of possible mitigation alternatives.
   The survey has been completed and a meeting scheduled for Jan. 10 in Carnation is intended to focus on the alternatives that the community believes are the most popular and to determine if there is community consensus on a recommendation that can be made part of the Corps Snoqualmie Project.
   Discussion will focus on potential mitigation measures for the downstream impacts of the Corps' channel excavation project of the area below Snoqualmie Falls.
   The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of Carnation Elementary School, located at 4950 Tolt Ave. A brief update on the design status and funding for the Corps' project will be presented.
   Project information is also available on the County Web site: http://dnr.metrokc. gov/wlr/flood/205/205.htm.