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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Health and medical flood preparedness - Green River Basin

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has discovered damage to a portion of the Howard Hanson Dam. This dam has controlled flooding in the Green River Valley for the last 40 years, however the dam will only operate at 30% capacity this winter. Therefore, there is a much greater risk of significant flooding during periods of heavy rain throughout the lower Green River Valley, affecting the cities of Auburn, Kent, Renton, and Tukwila.

The USACE is actively testing and investigating the source of the problems and trying to identify solutions. The USACE has significantly reduced the water storage levels at the Dam and is taking a number of steps to try and minimize the flood risk. However, the USACE does not anticipate a full solution to the problems with the Dam by this flood season. The cities of Auburn, Kent, Renton and Tukwila and King County government agencies are working closely with the USACE to prepare for the 2009 flood season.

What residents, business and property owners can do
  • Purchase flood insurance. Contact your insurance representative or visit
  • Evaluate your insurance policy for structure and contents coverage and for potential damage caused by sewer backups
  • Review Protecting Your Property from Flooding, FEMA
  • Consider purchasing an inexpensive NOAA weather radio which will relay urgent weather alerts day and night
  • Establish a family emergency plan and know your evacuation routes should a significant flood event occur
  • If severe weather is predicted, monitor area news media for information
  • Subscribe to RPIN to receive emergency alerts and other breaking news
ESF 8 Health and Medical Area Command Bulletins Flood planning agencies and city websites Links and resources

Green River flooding: Are you ready?

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