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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Kurt Triplett commends King County Council for approval of $34.6 million flood funding request

Summary

The King County Council has passed legislation approving $34.6 million in funding for flood preparation activities in the Green River Valley as requested by King County Executive Kurt Triplett in September.

Story

The King County Council has passed legislation approving $34.6 million in funding for flood preparation activities in the Green River Valley as requested by King County Executive Kurt Triplett in September.

“I thank the King County Council for taking swift action on this request while also busy preparing next year’s budget,” said Executive Triplett. “This money will help King County and its partners continue to move quickly to increase capacity on critical levees, safeguard facilities like the Maleng Regional Justice Center and ensure continuity of services such as elections. The local leaders and residents of the Green River Valley are depending on us to be prepared and help them get prepared too. This money moves us closer to that goal before the rains really hit.”

The original funding request was aimed at preparing King County and local cities to mitigate or avoid long term damage that could result from flooding caused by a damaged abutment at the Howard Hanson Dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) owns and operates the dam, which is located 34 miles upstream from Auburn.

In the event of heavy rains, the Army Corps may not be able to hold back as much water behind the dam, potentially causing flooding in cities downstream and flood-related impacts throughout the Green River Valley.

$7.4 million of wastewater treatment funds will help maintain operations at the South Treatment Plant during a flood. The remainder will be used to plan for and take steps to keep other regional services operating in the event of a flood. For example:

  • $7.9 million will be used for facility planning and protection in the Green River Valley flood zone area, such as building a water-resistant wall around the Maleng Regional Justice Center (MRJC) and relocating inmates, in addition to relocating 1,200 - 1,600 county employees outside of the flood area to ensure continuity of government.
  • $3.3 million will be used by the Office of Information and Resource Management for essential tasks such as moving servers, installing telecom infrastructure and network devices for the 1,200 – 1,600 county employees being relocated out of the flood zone, and enhancing capacity at the alternate data center to ensure uninterrupted county email service.
  • $2.3 million will be used to cover the cost of temporarily relocating Elections to the King County Airport Operations Center to ensure that Elections can meet its legal mandate to count ballots and certify election results within three weeks of Election Day.
  • $1.8 million will be used by the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention to lower the inmate population at the Maleng Regional Justice Center detention facility to allow for an emergency full evacuation of the MRJC if necessary. The funding also includes approximately $9.9 million for contingencies.

The supplemental flood funding request will also be used to continue outreach activities to residents in the Green River Valley, particularly in underserved and non-English speaking communities so that as many residents as possible will be aware of the flood risks and be prepared to evacuate if the situation worsens.



Related information

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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Read the Executive's biography