Snoqualmie Valley Flood Guidebook


! ! !


Jeremy Westlake - June, 12th 2013 Geology 106 Service Day Project

Table of Contents
! 1 Introduction to Flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley • Flood Related Facts • Intro • Current Projects o The Upper Snoqualmie Valley or River Residential Flood Mitigation o Middle Fork Snoqualmie Ricer Corridor Management Plan o Lower Valley Floodplain Management Actions Flood Safety Information Local Flood Phases Flood Map: North Bend Flood Maps: Snoqualmie Additional Flood Maps Flood Alert Information 1 2 2 3 3 7 8 10 10

2 3 4 5 6 7 !

About This Project
! The following booklet is a guide to basic flooding and background information in the Snoqualmie Valley, including the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie. Flood maps are provided for both cities, in addition to references and links to FEMA maps for other cities as well.



Chapter 1: Introduction to Flooding in the Snoqualmie Valley
Flood Related Facts • • • There are about 8,000 properties located in a King County Floodplain River flooding has led to 12 presidential declared disasters in King County since 1990 Even though local flooding most commonly occurs between November and February, King County rivers have flooded in every month of the year except August The leading cause of flood related deaths is from motorists driving through standing water or around barricades or road closure signs Federal financial assistance is only available following a federal disaster declaration Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage

• • •

! Intro


The Snoqualmie Valley is a wide, low gradient floodplain mostly comprised of agricultural lands with several smaller residential communities, such as the cities of North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation and Duvall. The mainstream Snoqualmie River can be characterized by low velocities and a mild gradient, but still causes substantial erosion. The Snoqualmie River is composed of three main tributaries which include the North Fork, South fork, and Middle Fork. The starts of the rivers originate from the Cascade Mountain Range near North Bend and join near Snoqualmie just above Snoqualmie Falls. After the falls, the river flows North through rich farmland and meets the Skykomish river in Monroe to form the Snohomish River. Flooding is commonly associated with damage to farms, houses, barns, and the roads that parallel or cross the mainstream Snoqualmie River. Damage is often due to large areas of inundation along with localized erosion of outer river banks and revetments, overtopping of flood protection levees, and road embankments. Problems generally relate to constrictions where energy builds up and becomes concentrated. One example is the Carnation Farm Road, where fill embanked forces flood water through two small bridge openings. Both bridges were washed out during the Thanksgiving flood of 1990 when two flood flows exceeded their capacity. Particularly in the later fall months, early snowfall in the mountains mixed with warm, melting rains creates conditions prone to cause flood events. Because the rivers that carry runoff out of this basin are located in steep valleys, floodwaters collect on the flat valley floor where the communities are located. Most of the historic portions of downtown Snoqualmie and the residential neighborhoods of North Bend lie within the floodplain of the Snoqualmie River. In the lower Snoqualmie valley, flooding due to the flat topography and massive drainage basins that they reside in also regularly impacts towns like Carnation, Fall City and Duvall. It is very important for residents who reside in the community to be prepared for the next flood event. Current Projects: The Upper Snoqualmie Valley or River Residential Flood Mitigation The Snoqualmie Valley is the most flood prone community in the state of Washington. The Upper Snoqualmie Valley Residential Flood Mitigation Project provides funding to mitigate flood impacts to local residents. The King County Water and Land Resource Division is partnering with the cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie to take a comprehensive approach to identifying hazards and mitigation needs in the community. An initial assessment of the community identified 315 homes, which have living space below the base flood level and 12 at homes at risk from channel migration. The cost to mitigate these flood dangers is close to $32

! million. The goal of this project is to collaborate with the two cities to mitigate flood risks for all identified properties mentioned above. Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Corridor Management Plan


This project addresses the existing flood protection facilities along the lower five miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Sections from Tanner to the North Fork are relatively short and discontinuous. The plan will develop a corridor management plan that will lead to well informed, strategic approaches to conducting flood hazard reduction projects in a way that optimizes expenditure of public funds to reach flood safety and habitat protection. The Water and Land Resources Development team is concerned about the impacts of flood hazards for human safety along the Middle Fork and its adjacent floodplain which include flood water inundation, swift water in floodways and channel migration hazards. Flow in excess of 30,000 cubic feet per second have occurred three times since the 1960’s and this reach being on the Middle Fork alluvial fan is dynamic with respect to channel migration and frequently transports high volumes of sediment. The areas levees do not contain flooding and have been subject to repetitive damage requiring nonstop repairs. The goal of this project is to develop floodplain management actions to address flood and erosion hazards and by doing so, avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts of channel migration hazard management by implementing a capital improvement project that will reduce the likelihood of emergency repairs needed due to flood events. Also to reduce long terms costs of flood hazard management by designing and implementing a stable bank that will not need repairs over the long run. Lower Valley Floodplain Management Actions King county’s river and floodplain management vision and strategies include working with partner’s valley wide to balance floodplain management goals with farming and habitat needs in mind. In channel migration areas, they want to allow more from for natural channel movement and increase capacity for floodwaters and sediment through levee setbacks and voluntary acquisitions, and coordinate with affected landowners. In the broader valley where flows are slower, they plan to continue to work with farmers to reduce flooding impacts. Outside the Tolt and Raging alluvial fan areas, they plan to reduce flood impact on farming while protecting floodplain functions by elevating houses and barns. Between 2006 and 2012, the King County Flood Plan accomplished the following: • Technical and permitting help for 34 farm pads • Elevated two barns and twelve homes • Acquired 36 acres of land and 15 residencies to reduce flood hazards • Repaired two levees after the November 2006 flood • Submitted a draft flood insurance study of the lower Snoqualmie river to the federal emergency management agency, which is awaiting adoption

! The following are plans for 2013-2018: • Balance King County’s interest in fish, farms, and flood safety • Build more farm pads and elevate more barns • Study recent changes at Snoqualmie Falls • Elevate homes and farm buildings and acquire homes in high erosion locations • Study flood and erosion reduction measures to see how they could affect wood accumulation and recreational safety. Study the type and extent of recreational use in the Lower Snoqualmie River • Acquire at risk structures in the Fall City area • Support monitoring and adaptive management of restoration projects on mainstream Snoqualmie downstream of Carnation • Repair the Sinnema Quaale Upper Revetment, the Winkelman Revetment, and the Dutchman Road Revetment • Conduct channel mitigation mapping of the Lower Snoqualmie River • Continue gravel monitoring and implement gravel management actions if appropriate in the river segments below the Tolt and Raging Rivers


A map of the lower Snoqualmie River flood hazard management plan can be seen here:

Chapter 2: Flood Safety Information
One of the most important things you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to purchase flood insurance. If you do not already have flood insurance, talk to a representative. Homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Because the Snoqualmie participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase separate flood insurance policies. Some people have purchased flood insurance because the bank requires it before purchasing a home or obtaining a home loan. Your home and property can be protected from floods in many ways. Elevating homes has been the most frequently used method of protecting homes in Snoqualmie. The use of water resistant materials, structural reinforcement to withstand water pressure, and placement of mechanical elements in the upper parts of the building are a few other ways to flood proof your home.

! The following chart lists flood safety tips: Preparing for a Flood 1. Learn the safest evacuation route from your home. 2. Keep a portable radio, emergency cooking equipment, and flashlights on hand. 3. Have emergency food, water, and medical supplies on hand. 4. Store valuables in high areas. 5. Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into your house. 6. Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and other materials to protect property. When a Flood Comes 7. Move to a safe area before you loose access. Stay put till rescue teams come. 8. Do not drive over a flooded road or around barricades. 9. Do not walk through floodwaters. 10. Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical currents can travel through water. 11. Turn off all utilities at the main power switch in your house and close the main gas valve.


After a Flood 12. Look before you step. The ground and floors after a flood may be covered with debris. 13. Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to search for damage. 14. Keep electricity off until an electrical has inspected your system for safety.

Chapter 3: Local Flood Phases
The following table shows response in relation to phase thresholds: Phase Phase Threshold 1 6,000 CFS 2 3 4 12,000 CFS 20,000 CFS 38,000 CFS Response County personnel are put on alert and preparations are made to open the flood warning center The flood warning center is opened. Staff at the center monitor river gauges and flood conditions around the clock. Gage information is updated on an hourly schedule Flood investigation crews are sent out to monitor flood control facilities such as levees Warnings issued to police and fire departments, schools, and other agencies. The public is informed through news and the media.

! The following tables shows roads susceptible of flooding in relation to phase thresholds: Phase Phase Threshold 1 6,000 CFS 2 12,000 CFS Description Internal Alert Lowland Flooding Roads that may overtop and close


3 4

20,000 CFS 38,000 CFS

Flooding of varied depths occurs in the entire Snoqualmie Valley Some residential areas may experience dangerous high velocities and flooding of homes

Neal Rd, SE Reinig Rd, West Snoqualmie River Rd NE, Snoqualmie Meadowbrook Rd, Mill Pond Rd (Those listed above) Fall City-Carnation Rd, Tolt Hill Rd, Ne 124th St (Those listed above) Woodinville-Duvall Rd, SR 203 between Duvall and Carnation, Moon Valley Rd, South Fork Rd

Chapter 4: North Bend Flood Map



! To view interactive maps from FEMA visit this link:

8! =1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=CAT_MAPPANEL&stateId=13054&countyId=15930&c ommunityId=359909&stateName=WASHINGTON&countyName=KING+COUNTY&communityName=N.BEND% 2CCTY%2FKING+CO&dfirm_kit_id=&future=false&dfirmCatId=null&isCountySelected=&isCommSelected=&us erType=G&urlUserType=G&sfc=0&cat_state=13054&cat_county=15930&cat_community=359909

Chapter 5: Snoqualmie Flood Maps

Legend (above) Gray: 100 Year Flood Blue: 200 Year Flood



To view interactive maps from FEMA visit this link: 01&langId=1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=CAT_MAPPANEL&stateId=13054&countyId =15930&communityId=359914&stateName=WASHINGTON&countyName=KING+COUNTY&commun ityName=SNOQUALMIE%2CCTY%2FKING+CO&dfirm_kit_id=&future=false&dfirmCatId=null&isCounty Selected=&isCommSelected=&userType=G&urlUserType=G&sfc=0&cat_state=13054&cat_county=1 5930&cat_community=359914



Chapter 6: Additional Flood Maps
Carnation: catalogId=10001&langId=1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=CAT_MAPPANEL&stateId=1 3054&countyId=15930&communityId=359901&stateName=WASHINGTON&countyN ame=KING+COUNTY&communityName=CARNATION%2CCTY%2FKING+CO&dfirm_ki t_id=&future=false&dfirmCatId=null&isCountySelected=&isCommSelected=&userTyp e=G&urlUserType=G&sfc=0&cat_state=13054&cat_county=15930&cat_community= 359901 Duvall: catalogId=10001&langId=1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=CAT_MAPPANEL&stateId=1 3054&countyId=15930&communityId=360096&stateName=WASHINGTON&countyN ame=KING+COUNTY&communityName=DUVALL%2CTWN%2FKING+CO&dfirm_kit_id =&future=false&dfirmCatId=null&isCountySelected=&isCommSelected=&userType= G&urlUserType=G&sfc=0&cat_state=13054&cat_county=15930&cat_community=36 0096 FEMA Database for other Communities: catalogId=10001&langId=1&categoryId=12001&parent_category_rn=12001&type=1&stateId=13054&countyId =15930&communityId=359901&stateName=WASHINGTON&countyName=KING+CO UNTY&communityName=CARNATION%2CCTY%2FKING+CO&dfirm_kit_id=&future=fal se&dfirmCatId=null&isCountySelected=1&isCommSelected=1&userType=G&urlUserT ype=G&sfc=0&cat_state=13054&cat_county=15930&cat_community=360096

Chapter 7: Flood Alert Information

Sign up to receive flood alerts!

! The following links provide information for several tributaries on the Snoqualmie River, such as discharge rates: Directory of all Snoqualmie River Flooding Information: Includes stages of river, discharge (CFS), and flow change. North Fork Middle Fork South Fork Near Snoqualmie Near Carnation Near Duvall


! Works Cited • • • • • •


• • d.aspx?Command=Core_Download&EntryId=7118&PortalId=0&TabId=273 aceWaterManagement/Flooding/Snoskyreport.pdf