|More from Congressman Smith in Washington|
Congressman Smith enlisted the support of Congressman Ed Pastor, Chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, which provides funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair and rehabilitate local levees and dams. Here is an excerpt of their exchange:
Mr. Smith: The Green and Puyallup Rivers, located in the Ninth District of Washington, were flooded by record levels of water in January 2009, causing cities along these rivers to sustain major damage. Levees along these rivers are now in need of repair and rehabilitation, and when added to the other levees that were already priorities for the Seattle District, the need for resources and action is imperative.
Following the record high level of water behind the Howard Hanson Dam on the Green River, significant structural weaknesses were discovered. Because of this damage, water levels at the Howard Hanson Dam are being held at lower-than-normal levels, drastically increasing the possibility of flooding along the banks below.
This is extremely troubling as we are rapidly approaching the upcoming rain and flood season. If the Dam were to fail, or if a strong storm brings a heavy level of rain, then the levees below are at a serious risk of being breached, causing significant property damage and driving large numbers of people from their homes and businesses.
I respectfully ask to work with the Gentleman to ensure that the Seattle District of the Army Corps of Engineers is responsive to the flood prevention needs of those along the lower Green and Puyallup Rivers, and will make the repair of their levees a top priority. I also ask to work with the Subcommittee to make the resources needed to fix the Howard Hanson Dam available in a timely manner, as they are identified.
Mr. Pastor: I thank the gentleman for drawing the Subcommittee's attention to this very serious issue. He has been a dedicated advocate for the people of the Ninth District of Washington and the surrounding areas. We will work with the gentleman to ensure that the Seattle District of the Corps is responsive to the needs of the cities and people along the lower Green and Puyallup Rivers, and that adequate resources are available to repair the Howard Hanson Dam.
Mr. Smith: I thank the gentlemen very much for his response and engaging in this colloquy. I look forward to working with him on this important issue and yield back my time.
This news is exciting to the City of Sumner. Part of the challenge with addressing flood issues is that so much is out of the City's hands and in the jurisdictions of Pierce County and various Federal agencies. Congressman Smith's work shows us that working together is making a difference and getting us closer to solutions.
If you'd like to see the video or more about Congressman Smith, click here
to go to his website.
|Pierce County Flood Survey|
Pierce County is asking residents what you think about how flood issues should be addressed. They definitely know from the City of Sumner as a whole how we feel from our work together, but it's important that they hear from as many individual citizens as possible. Whether flood issues affect your business or home, please take a moment to let Pierce County know what you think!
Click here to take survey