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City gets funds for high-risk flood areas

North Bend neighborhoods will receive flood mitigation funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this winter.

Federal funds will be used to elevate or buy out homes in high-risk flood areas to prevent future loss and damage.

The $750,000 award from FEMA was secured by Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08). Severe and repeated flooding from the Snoqualmie River has caused damage and posed public safety risks in North Bend neighborhoods. It is expected that the funding will elevate up to seven homes that have experienced frequent flooding.

The King County Flood Control District will manage the federal funds which will augment work already underway in the area. The Flood District previously received two grants in the amount of approximately $2.4 million to elevate homes at high risk of flooding in the Snoqualmie basin. Approximately $900,000 will pay for six home elevations and one acquisition in the Shamrock Park Neighborhood and approximately $1.5 million will elevate 15 homes in the upper and lower Snoqualmie floodplain.

Two local flood projects include rebuilding and strengthening selected portions of the existing levee system on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River, protecting the residential and commercial areas of North Bend and residential portions of unincorporated King County. The work is part of a multi-year, $7 million project that began in 2008 to rehabilitate five miles of levees on the South Fork Snoqualmie levee system.

Also in the works is a Middle Fork levee system capacity upgrade, removing levee segments that constrict the river channel. The purpose is to protect downstream residential development and reduce the high maintenance costs that result from high-velocity erosive flows in this reach. By reconnecting the river to its floodplain, velocities will be reduced and the storage and conveyance capacity of the channel will increase.

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