Tukwila residents and business owners in the Green River Valley need to be ready for a second straight winter of potential flooding because the Howard Hanson Dam still cannot hold back as much water as its original design.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees operations of Hanson Dam, reminds residents to be alert and aware about weather conditions and the potential for flooding.
The corps has lowered the threat of Green River flooding this winter to 1 in 60 from 1 in 33 last year because of installation of a grout curtain. But the odds of flooding are 1 in 140 when the dam is fully operational. Additional repairs to put the dam at that level are not expected to be completed until 2012.
“People need to stay prepared,” said Casondra Brewster, an Army Corps public affairs specialist in Seattle. “We’ve still got a ways to go. It’s better than last year but Mother Nature was kind to us last year and we’re not sure that will happen this year.”
Tukwila city officials recommend that residents and property owners buy flood insurance, have evacuation routes in mind and have emergency kits at home and in their vehicles.
For additional information on potential flooding and how to be prepared, go to www.ci.tukwila.wa.us/hhdam.html, or call the Tukwila Fire Department at 206-575-4404.
The city Web site includes a form to sign up for emergency notifications from the city in case of a flood or other emergency.
• Key Web sites about flooding:
Flood planning and response: www.kingcounty.gov/floodplans
Family disaster preparedness: www.3days3ways.org
Green River gauge readings: www.kingcounty.gov/flood or 1-800-945-9263
City of Tukwila: www.ci.tukwila.wa.us/hhdam.html or 206-575-4404
National Flood Insurance: www.floodsmart.gov or 1-888-379-9531
National Weather Service: www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: www.nws.usace.army.mil