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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive praises state Congressional delegation for support of fix for federal Howard Hanson Dam

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine today thanked the state's Congressional delegation for urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work at full speed to complete studies and begin construction on a permanent fix at the federal Howard Hanson Dam on the Green River.

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King County Executive Dow Constantine today thanked the state's Congressional delegation for urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work at full speed to complete studies and begin construction on a permanent fix at the federal Howard Hanson Dam on the Green River.

"When I met last week with congressional leaders in Washington D.C., we discussed the urgency of this issue, not only for the safety of residents in the Green River Valley, but also for the economy of the entire state," said Executive Constantine. "I am pleased with the commitment of our delegation to address our concern that the dam provide full protection as soon as possible. And I look forward to working with them, the Corps and Green River Valley cities on securing federal funding to make this happen."

In a bi-partisan letter to the Corps sent Thursday, Washington's Congressional representatives requested follow-up from Corps leadership and asked the agency to explain how it plans to complete the study phase by June, so that the project can be considered for construction funding in fiscal year 2012.

Residents, businesses and farms below the federal Howard Hanson Dam in the Green River Valley have been preparing for a higher risk of flooding for more than a year. The higher risk is due to water seeping more rapidly through an earthen bank next to the dam after record high water in January 2009. Until the Corps can make repairs, it must limit the amount of flood water it stores behind the dam. The Corps has said a permanent fix is at least a few years away.

The letter to the Corps was co-signed by Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressman Adam Smith, Congressman Dave Reichert, Congressman Norm Dicks, Congressman Jim McDermott, Congressman Jay Inslee, and Congressman Brian Baird, and Congressman Rick Larsen and is addressed to Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp.

The delegation also requested a meeting with Major General William T. Grisoli, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, to review this timeline and convey to him the importance of this project for families and businesses in the Green River Valley. Members of the delegation also requested a conference call with Army Corps leadership and local officials to discuss the Howard Hanson Dam project and give them an opportunity to ask additional questions.

The full text of the letter is available at Sen. Murray's Web site.



More info:

To learn more about how King County is preparing for flood risks in the Green River Valley, visit the Green River flood preparation Web site.

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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