It is a precarious time in NW WA. We've been dealing with flooding in the area all weekend long, with some people over on the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers having to evacuate late last week. Yesterday, Moose woke up to rising waters in the Green River, a river controlled by a dam that hasn't been completely fixed yet since it's problems began in 2009, when a severe winter storm dumped tons of water into the area. The Corps held back water in the reservoir as it always has, however one of the abutments deteriorating and water began seeping through it. This has meant that to preserve the dam, the Corps has stopped holding massive amounts of water in reservoir. A temporary fix in the form of a grout curtain, pumped into the abutment, has increased the amount of water that can be held up at the reservoir, however it's not 100% fixed. Thankfully, the last Congress passed a bill that included funds to fix the problems up at the dam.
The Green River Valley is home to many people, businesses, and recreational facilities. Although the cities in the valley all run together, their make up is very different. In Tukwila, there is a huge shopping district that draws huge crowds on any given day. In Kent, you're dealing with the 2nd largest warehouse area (next to L.A.) this side of the Mississippi River. In Auburn, most of the city's businesses and population reside within the area of the flood plain.
Yesterday was a holiday. However, with the rainstorms coming in over the weekend, Moose was monitoring flow rates all weekend. We have a few friends that live on the river, which terrifies us. Most importantly, Moose is worried that if anything happens, we'll have a full scale New Orleans vs. Katrina on our hands. Since the water is stacking up in the reservoir due to massive amounts of rain and snow melt, the river is running extremely high. This is a shot from a friend's house in Auburn. She's on her deck. That line of black things are the sandbags that hopefully will never need to be tested...they are added "freeboard" just incase the river should run higher than the levees are designed for.
Yesterday, Moose and a co-worker patrolled the levees here in Kent. So far, so good. The Corps will keep emptying the reservoir, causing the river to run high and leading to potential minor flooding in areas near creeks that feed into the river.
Of course, because of the Corps precautions, we hope we won't be dealing with anything like the Aussie's are dealing with. However, please keep our area in your prayers. And also, because i haven't seen many people talking about it on the internets, please keep the people of Brasil in your prayers too. They are losing many lives to landslides from massive amounts of rainfall.