Pierce County residents are invited to a flood preparedness open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Stewart Elementary School, 426 4th Ave. NE in Puyallup.
This free event will feature informational booths and short presentations about flood preparedness. Residents can drop in any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Children’s activities will be available.
“Residents will learn how to plan and prepare for flooding at the Nov. 14 open house,” said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works surface water manager. “Being ready for flooding is incredibly important in order to protect lives, businesses, property and animals. Major roads, including freeways, can be closed because of flooding, so even if you don’t live near one of the major rivers or a stream, flooding can impact you.”
Pierce County will share information about its flood protection program that includes maintaining about 67 miles of flood protection structures along the county’s major rivers, which include the Puyallup River, the Carbon River, the White River, and the Nisqually River. The county, on average, spends $3 million each year on maintenance of these flood protection systems.
Residents can also hear about the county’s floodplain property acquisition program. This program uses state and federal grant dollars to purchase properties in flood prone areas from willing sellers. Buying these properties moves people out of harm’s way and reduces costs from damaging floods.
Property owners can also find out the flood risk on their property and have a flood map printed or emailed to them for their records.
The community will also learn about how Pierce County road crews respond during winter weather, including snow and ice, windstorms, and rainstorms.
Attendees can also gather information and ideas for creating an emergency kit and disaster plan for their family. Tips on creating a kit for families and vehicles is available at www.piercecountywa.org/winterwise.
Pierce County provides flood control measures on four rivers that start at Mount Rainier and the streams that feed the rivers. The county also partners with other agencies during disasters to provide relief and information for affected residents.
Learn more about the flood preparedness open house at www.piercecountywa.org/floodopenhouse.
Tiffany O’Dell, Public Works communications and outreach specialist