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Natural Resources and Parks

King County, Washington

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April 9, 2012

King County prepares update to flood plan for continued protection of people, property

Review helps ensure County’s continued flood-risk reduction success; Several ways for public participation in Flood Hazard Management Plan

Flood Control Zone District Logo King County logo

The King County Flood Control District is moving forward with an update of its flood hazard management plan to keep residents, businesses and the County’s economic infrastructure safe from flooding.

The County’s Flood Hazard Management Plan was adopted in 2007 and the County is required to update it every five years. The plan details a 10-year action agenda for river and floodplain management that strives to minimize flooding and channel migration hazards to people, property, public infrastructure and natural resources.

The update’s scope of work includes preparing issue papers and decision documents for use in potential policy development in the following topics:

  • Coastal, small streams and urban flooding;
  • Risk reduction standards, appropriate levels of flood protection for each river system, and integrated basin-wide action plans;
  • Levee certification and accreditation;
  • Levee vegetation management and standards for federal funding;
  • Property acquisition and relocation approaches for residential and business properties;
  • Capital project prioritization, sequencing approach, criteria and scoring;
  • Bioengineering;
  • Gravel removal and sediment management; and
  • Social justice and outreach to vulnerable populations in high-risk flood zones.

Additionally, the five-year update will include a new risk assessment study, a new capital project list, and a review and possible update to the plan’s goals, objectives and guiding principles.

Together, this work will help maintain the high quality of the County’s existing flood hazard management program, and ensure that the County is on the right track with its flood-risk reduction work.

The King County Flood Control District, which provides funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs, has appointed a citizens committee to serve as a sounding board for discussions related to the flood hazard management plan update.

A draft of the plan update is scheduled to be completed in September. A formal public comment period will be established once the draft plan has been prepared, as will a public meeting. In addition, all citizen committee meetings are open to the public and feature a public comment period.

Information on the King County Flood Hazard Management Plan update is available at Click on the “Flooding Documents” link on the left-hand side of the page.

Updating the Flood Hazard Management Plan also helps King County meet requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS), a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

King County’s compliance with high CRS standards results in a 40 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums for policy buyers.

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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

Related information

King County Flood Control District

King County Water and Land Resources