King County highlights flooding alert program

November 2, 2010

King County launched the countywide Flood Warning Program in 1960. In the decades since, the program has provided automated flood alerts and river level information to residents. The system operates continuously during a flood. Flood Warning Program employees also monitor river levels on site during flood events.

King County Council members highlighted the program Nov. 1 for a half-century of protecting residents during floods.

The program is part of the county Flood Control District. Staffers from the county Water and Land Resources Division run the program.

“New technology has improved the speed and accuracy of receiving and distributing flooding data, and demonstrates the value of maintaining this system,” County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah-area representative, said in a statement. “This information system allows citizens, businesses and public agencies to make critical safety and economic decisions, such as sand-bagging or evacuation, during flood events.”

County offers deluge of information to stay safe during floods

October 13, 2010

NEW — 1 p.m. Oct. 13, 2010

Before seasonal rain starts to soak the region, leaders joined together to remind King County residents of the potential for floods, and to mark Flood Awareness Month.

The county established a system 40 years ago to alert floodplain residents to danger.

“It is a credit to our leaders a half a century ago to understand the need, particularly in light of the increased demand to develop land for neighborhoods and business areas, for the county’s first flood warning system,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release.

Leaders reminded residents in flood-prone areas to take steps to prepare for nasty winter weather and to sign up for automated flood alerts.

Read more

Learn about disaster risks and ways to prepare March 4

February 23, 2010

King County Flood Control District officials will outline ways to reduce risks for people who live in or near floodplains during a March 4 meeting in Issaquah. Read more

City reviews last flood, prepares for future crises

November 3, 2009

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

David Bramwell (left) shovels sand into a bag held by Bruce Wendt in a sandbagging practice run for CERT volunteers last week. Courtesy of Brenda Bramwell

Floodwaters caused about $1 million worth of damage and left behind piles of debris and muck when Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks overflowed in January, but the disaster also readied emergency planners for the next flood.

The next time flood waters rise, volunteers will fan out across flood-prone neighborhoods and city officials will unleash a deluge of information about water levels, road closures and recovery efforts. Many of the procedures were tested during what officials characterized as a successful response to the major flood in mid-January.

But the next flood could occur as early as the next several weeks, and officials said work remains to be done to prepare Issaquah for another natural disaster. On Oct. 27, City Council members received a briefing about the response to the January flood and preparation efforts for the upcoming flood season.

City Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Campbell said readings from a pair of flood gauges did not correlate with the damage caused by floodwaters. A U.S. Geological Survey gauge downstream on Issaquah Creek appeared inaccurate, Campbell said. The gauge indicated about 2,500 cubic feet per second, Campbell said, but flood damage was similar to the 3,500 cubic feet per second estimate from the last major flood to hit Issaquah, in 1996. Read more

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