The King County Flood Control District on Tuesday, Nov. 9, approved its 2022 budget and six-year capital improvement plan, including $1.3 million aimed at reducing flooding of Issaquah Creek located in both the City of Issaquah and unincorporated King County.
Approval came after Flood Control District Supervisor and Vice Chair Reagan Dunn pushed to evaluate the need for additional flood protection along the creek after heavy rains caused a culvert to fail during the flood disaster of February 2020. This failure caused historic levels of flooding in both Issaquah and Unincorporated King County, shutting down main thoroughfares like Issaquah-Hobart road.
“The February 2020 flood event highlighted the need to provide long term planning for protecting people and property along what is essentially a small river,” Dunn said. “With over 40 flood risk reduction facilities, Issaquah Creek is the largest creek in the county and warrants its own capital investment strategy, something that has not been looked at in decades. This effort will reduce the flooding risk and maintain access to adjacent roads in the event of heavy storm flows.”
On the morning of February 6, 2020, rocks and soil spilled from a hillside due to heavy amounts of rain, causing a culvert to clog and debris to spill over Issaquah-Hobart Road. This closed a main thoroughfare for four days, not only stopping residents of Southeast King County from accessing many services, but also requiring 100 workers to volunteer to clean up the road to get it reopened.
The $1.3 million in funding will go to analyze the flood risk reduction needs on Issaquah Creek. This analysis will take an integrated flood plan management approach to ensure that the necessary enhancements are made to the flood reduction facilities along the creek.
“The 2020 flood was historic for Issaquah – one of the largest events we’ve seen in some time,” said Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly. “The downstream impact on our residents – as well as our natural and built environment – was heartbreaking, and further highlighted the need for flood reduction measures along Issaquah Creek.”