Flood foes try petition drive

The group of residents in Carnation and Fall City opposed to Puget Sound Energy’s plans to lower its Snoqualmie Falls diversion dam have started an online petition to put the project on hold.

Now organized as “Neighbors Against Flooding,” residents are calling for all property in the Valley to be subject to “zero-rise” flood requirements, and that the PSE project be put on hold until a solution can be found with no affect on downstream flooding.

The four-foot-tall falls dam will be lowered by two feet in 2010 under PSE’s new license to lower flood levels in Snoqualmie.

“We want to stop the project,” Carnation resident and Neighbors Against Flooding founder Bob Seana said. “How can you add more to what is catastrophic already?”

Seana has hosted three flood meetings at Carnation’s Sno-Valley Senior Center, and said he is still waiting for more specifics on how locals were notified of the plans and what PSE and local governments are going to do to protect lower Valley residents from the impact.

“The problem is that the people below the falls do not feel like we’ve been asked to the table,” he said.

At a recent flood meeting held Sunday, Sept. 13, PSE spokesman Roger Thompson said the company would be willing to explore flood mitigation efforts in connection with the Falls project, but did not give a dollar figure.

Any mitigation project would have to be done on the same scale as the impact from the Falls project, Thompson said. PSE has repeatedly stated that impacts from the project are expected to be minimal.

Projections based on work by Northwest Hydraulics consultants and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study for the early-2000s-era Snoqualmie River Flood Control project, state that the work would raise 100-year flood levels in the Valley by about a quarter-inch.

Carnation residents continued to call for new studies on flooding in the Snoqualmie basin.

Seana said about 400 people have joined Neighbors Against Flooding in its two weeks of existence. Neighbors Against Flooding are also accepting money donations at the site.

PSE’s flood project was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in June after a more-than-decade-long application process.

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