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North Bend hires firm to conduct flood study, make recommendations

NORTH BEND - The city of North Bend has taken one more step toward fixing its flooding problems by selecting an outside company to study ways to prevent damage caused by the Valley's infamous flooding episodes.

The hiring of Tetra Tech, a company that offers engineering consultation services, was prompted by a grant North Bend officials applied for and received last year from the King County Conservation District. The grant was for $75,000, to be used to conduct a study that would determine the expected annual cost of the cityOs flood damage and provide information on four ways to prevent flooding.

City officials hired the firm because Tetra Tech is familiar with North Bend's floods since its engineers have previously conducted similar studies.

The results of the study - expected to be completed by October - will be included in the cityOs flood hazard management plan. The plan is being finalized and additional information is needed, prior to its approval, about the damage flooding creates, the best solutions for avoiding such problems and where to create additional water storage, if needed.

"Essentially what we're looking at is: First we are going to get a damage estimate of what a 100-year flood could do to the buildings in the city, and then we're going to evaluate four of the potential solutions to reduce the damages to flooding," said Larry Stockton, North Bend community services director.

Tetra Tech will study the options, which were suggested by city staff and a citizens advisory committee, and were reviewed and approved by the City Council as contained in the flood hazard management plan. It's possible that some or even all of the options could be used, depending on their costs versus how much damage they would prevent or mitigate. The reason the options are being studied is so the city doesn't waste money on solutions that may not work.

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