In a rare show of excitement during city government proceedings, the public in attendance at Monday’s 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 both 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 new levees and raising existing 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 it into motion, but urges the dredging and other measures to occur and encourages 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.”