State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects

November 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

The state Department of Transportation awarded more than $3.5 million to Issaquah and King County to replace aging bridges, officials announced Wednesday.

The projects — a plan to replace the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge in downtown Issaquah and a plan to redo a bridge across 15 Mile Creek at the base of Tiger Mountain — received a portion of $130 million in federal funds to repair or replace aging bridges.

Replacing the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge across Issaquah Creek is a long-held goal among city officials, but a lack of funding prevented the project from proceeding in the past. The city project is in line to receive $2,254,400 in federal funds.

Reconstruction is meant to help reduce flooding by creating more capacity for the creek beneath the replacement bridge. The project could also add safer access for pedestrians — a change from the narrow bridge in place now.

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Soggy conditions could cause street flooding

November 20, 2012

Expect a soggy Thanksgiving and a side of rain on the day before the holiday, as a series of systems batters Western Washington.

The weather comes as rain-soaked Pacific systems barrel across the region in quick succession. National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said strong fronts should affect Western Washington, and increase the risk of flooding on streets.

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Ongoing rainfall to dampen holiday, but worst is done

November 20, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 20, 2012

Expect continued rainfall through Thanksgiving, but not like the blustery, soggy conditions Monday.

Severe rainfall from a series of storms derailed the afternoon commute and raised flooding concerns on local waterways as more than 2 inches of rain soaked the Issaquah area. The storm caused power outages in Issaquah and Sammamish, and prompted Sammamish city officials to close Beaver Lake Preserve and Pine Lake Park due to high wind.

King County road crews spent Monday afternoon removing leaves and debris from storm drains and responding to problems. The state Department of Transportation warned motorists to prepare for waterlogged Thanksgiving travel and snow on the mountain passes.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast rain for Issaquah into next week, although not as bad as the Monday deluge.

The precipitation raises the prospect of localized flooding on city streets.

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Meteorologists forecast blustery, soggy Thanksgiving

November 19, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 19, 2012

Expect a soggy Thanksgiving and a side of rain in the days before the holiday, as series of systems batters Western Washington.

The weather comes as rain-soaked Pacific systems barrel across the region in quick succession. National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said the strongest fronts should affect Western Washington through Monday night.

Residents should expect 2 to 5 inches of additional rain to fall in the mountains below the snow level. The influx of moisture increases the landslide risk on slopes.

Then, wet and windy weather should continue through the week, with lulls possible on Tuesday and Thursday, Thanksgiving. Snow is forecast to fall in the mountains, and motorists should prepare for snow in the mountain passes, including Snoqualmie Pass.

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National Weather Service issues flood watch as rain lingers in forecast

October 30, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30, 2012

National Weather Service meteorologists issued a flood watch for Issaquah and Western Washington on Tuesday, as rain pelts the region and lingers in the immediate forecast.

The flood watch is in effect for Western Washington through early Thursday. Under a flood watch, favorable conditions for flooding exist, but flooding is not imminent or occurring.

Forecasters said minor urban and small stream flooding is possible in the next 24 hours, due to a combination of steady rain and leaf-clogged storm drains.

Residents could see ponding at road intersections, in underpasses and along low-lying streets. Motorists should use caution as the rain continues.

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King County executive appoints emergency management director

August 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed local crisis manager Walt Hubbard to lead the county Office of Emergency Management.

Hubbard served as acting director at the agency for the past several months, since former Director Hillman Mitchell departed for a private sector job. Officials selected Hubbard after a nationwide search, and Constantine announced the appointment Tuesday.

“Walt brings a wealth of experience and strong local relationships that will help us protect residents and businesses in the event of disaster,” he said in a statement.

King County faces risks from earthquakes, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions and numerous other threats, both natural and manmade.

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120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.


  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.


  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.


  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.


  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.


  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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King County Council adopts climate change plan

March 27, 2012

King County Council members offered unanimous support March 5 for a short-term plan to address climate change.

The legislation lists steps already under way in King County government to address climate change — from setting countywide-level emissions-reduction targets and promoting compact communities and transit use to planning for climate change-related emergencies, such as flooding and droughts. In addition, the measure modifies goals and targets set in a 2006 plan for greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

“King County has long been on the forefront of the nation in addressing the climate crisis,” Councilman Larry Phillips, the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee chairman, said in a statement. “This legislation ensures those efforts continue while we develop a new strategic climate action plan to advance our work.”

The council also adopted strategic climate action legislation Feb. 27. King County Executive Dow Constantine is developing a plan based on the bill.

“Action now will benefit future generations, and future plans will need to evolve with new information and insights, allowing us to tackle climate change directly and aggressively,” he said.

President declares King County a disaster area for January storms

March 5, 2012

NEW — 3:40 p.m. March 5, 2012

Federal aid is available to Issaquah and other cities impacted during the January storms, because President Barack Obama declared King County a disaster area Monday.

The cost of storm response and cleanup reached $530,000 for city government. City officials said about $383,000 in costs related to the storms could be eligible for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Chris Gregoire asked Obama late last month to declare a federal disaster area in King County and 10 other Washington counties for damages and response costs from January storms.

Local governments could defray 75 percent of eligible disaster-related costs — such as debris removal — by using FEMA public assistance grants.

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King County assistance is available to relieve farm flood risk

February 28, 2012

The likelihood of flooding is a fact of life for many farmers living and working on the rich land in King County river valleys.

Help is available for farmers interested in building and repairing farm pads — elevated land to hold livestock, farm equipment and other essentials during a flood. King County is hosting a March 1 meeting in Preston to offer advice and technical assistance to rural landowners.

King County approved a demonstration project to improve existing farm pads after record-breaking floods in November 2006. The flooding led many livestock to drown or die from hypothermia. The disaster also ruined farm equipment and livestock feed.

Landowners from flood-prone areas can learn more about farm pads at the meeting at 7 p.m. at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E. County staffers plan to discuss technical assistance related to design, construction and permitting for farm pads.

Contact Project Manager Claire Dyckman at 206-296-1926 or to learn more.

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