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Annual flood protection work along White River begins Oct. 5 in Pacific

Summary

With flood season fast approaching, workers are preparing to reinstall the temporary flood barrier along the White River at Pacific Park to decrease the risk of flooding in nearby neighborhoods.

Story

For the 11th consecutive year, people who live and work in the City of Pacific along the White River will have continued flood protection this flood season, thanks to the reinstallation of temporary flood barriers that will soon be in place.
 
King County is scheduled to begin work the week of Oct. 5 to reinstall the temporary barriers at Pacific Park that provide increased flood protection to Pacific.

The work is funded by the King County Flood Control District, and the barriers, known as HESCOs, are provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Installation of the HESCOs is expected to take three to four days. Residents can expect truck traffic, large equipment and crews working within construction areas.

Installation of the temporary flood barriers requires the closure of Pacific Park along the White River. The park will remain closed to all public access until the seasonal flood threat has passed and the barriers are removed in spring 2021.

The White River is notorious for the high sediment load it carries from its glacial source on Mount Rainier. The river segment alongside Pacific is particularly vulnerable to gravel deposition and rapidly changing conditions because of the natural drop in channel gradient through this area. As the channel fills with sediment, the chance the riverbank will overtop increases.

Work is underway to develop a permanent flood protection project on the right bank of the White River extending from the BNSF Railway embankment to Government Canal.

The Pacific Right Bank Flood Protection Project, combined with the Countyline Levee Setback Project that was completed in 2017, will reconnect more than 120 acres of floodplain to the river channel, giving the river room to fan out and deposit sediment.

To learn more about how to prepare for flooding, including how to use sandbags to protect property, please visit kingcounty.gov/floodservices.

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The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County. The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council. The Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks develops and implements the approved flood protection projects and programs. Information is available at kingcountyfloodcontrol.org.