Stop flooding: An open letter to King County Water Division
November 17, 2009 · 12:26 PM
I thank you for the recently received informative brochure titled ‘King County Flood Alerts.’ This gives us fourth generation Valleyites the idea that someone may be looking at taking necessary action on flooding problems, especially in the vicinity of Fall City and near the mouth of the Raging River.
I have called, written and tried to find someone in King County government who would listen to those of us who have a long history of living on or near the Snoqualmie River in Fall City, all to no avail.
My great-grandparents, Hance and Nancy Moore, were the first pioneers married in Fall City. Hance Moore, a Civil War veteran, took up a homestead of 160 acres at the mouth of Patterson Creek, three miles downstream from Fall City, where the river makes a double bend before coursing toward Tolt.
My father, two uncles and an aunt were born on that river-surrounded ranch, and my grandfather, Albert Moore, and his brother Benjamin each had 80 acres of profitable dairy farms, supporting and raising eight children on that fertile bottom land.
Yes, they had to content with seasonal high waters, but they knew what to do, and what the weather could lead to. They knew how to handle anything the river could throw at them.
In later years, I lived with my grandparents in their retirement home, while attending Mount Si High School. That home, the first house heading east out of Fall City on Highway 202, was destroyed by high water this past winter.
During the years we lived there, we saw much higher water than this past winter. I recall being down in the basement, bailing water, with a few baby salmon coming in one basement window and going out the other.
There is a reason we did not have the destruction that occurred this past season. King County used to install a drag line and dredge the accumulated gravel that would periodically build up at the mouth of the Raging River.
King County has failed to manage the gravel build-up for several years now, and this past winter, the built-up gravel at the mouth of the Raging River created a dam. That caused the river to overflow, and (cause) the destruction it did. The damage is still visible today, with evidence in place for all to see.
An entire summer season has come and gone, with no corrective action, such as dredging the built-up gravel and removing it. If this action is not taken, and a flood of such magnitude occur, it could wash out a section of road or maybe the roundabout at the junction with Highway 203. Let us hear from you as to plans to alleviate this hazard.
David L. Moore