Ordinance aimed at reducing flooding

In a rare show of excitement during city government, the public in attendance at the April 6 Sumner City Council meeting erupted in applause. The elation was in response to the council’s passing of an ordinance aimed at reducing future flood damage.

A man walks along the Puyallup River behind the Rivergrove community in Sumner.

A man walks along the Puyallup River behind the Rivergrove community in Sumner.

In a rare show of excitement during city government, the public in attendance at the April 6 Sumner City Council meeting erupted in applause. The elation was in response to the council’s passing of an ordinance aimed at reducing future flood damage.

Beleaguered residents in attendance voiced support for the practice of dredging, which would remove sediment at the basins of the Puyallup and White rivers.

Sumner officials anticipate more floods in the future because further urban development will create sediment and gravel deposits in the channels of the Puyallup and White rivers, causing higher water levels.

Dredging would allow the rivers to hold more water, lessening flood damage.

Some people living in the Rivergrove community adjacent to the Puyallup River were evacuated from their homes during last winter’s flooding.

Other methods of damage control provided in the ordinance include constructing more levees and raising other levees.

Agencies empowered to implement these measures include Pierce County, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The council’s resolution does not require action or put anything into motion, but suggests that dredging and other measures occur and urges the Washington State Legislature to provide the necessary means for the project.

The ordinance passed unanimously, with councilmember Ed Hannus voting with a “Definite yes.”




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