Aberdeen and Hoquiam Receive North Shore Levee Funding

CITIES OF ABERDEEN AND HOQUIAM RECEIVE $2.5 MILLION TO FULLY FUND NORTH SHORE LEVEE DESIGN

The Washington State Legislature approved a 2018 supplemental capital budget that includes $2.5 million for the Aberdeen-Hoquiam North Shore Levee project. With $2.1 million previously funded by the Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority, the project now has a total of $4.6 million in State funding, the full amount needed to complete design and permitting. This funding allows the project to stay on schedule for developing cost estimates in 2018 in time to make a 2019-2021 capital budget request for construction funding. Design is scheduled to be complete in 2019.

Once the Levee is constructed and accredited, over 3,100 properties in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, including Downtown Aberdeen, will be removed from the area that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has mapped as Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) due to coastal flood risk.

“We are ecstatic to know that the Legislature believes in this project enough to allocate the amount they did. Our sincere thanks to them and specifically to Rep. Brian Blake for championing our area at such a high degree of success.”
~ Hoquiam Mayor Jasmine Dickhoff

Properties removed from the SFHA will no longer be subject to National Flood Insurance Program building code and flood insurance regulations, financial burdens that cost the community millions each year and hinder local investment. FEMA issued a preliminary approval for the proposed mapping change in October 2017 through a Conditional Letter of Map Revision.

The North Shore Levee project includes 5.7 miles of levee between the Wishkah and Hoquiam Rivers to protect against coastal flood events, plus significant upgrades to and expansion of stormwater pump systems to improve drainage. As the project prepares to transition to the next phase of design and permitting, the Cities will continue to engage and inform the community through community meetings, stakeholder interviews, personal meetings, surveys, website updates, council meeting updates, and media releases.

The Cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam are committed to implementing the recommendations of the 2016 TimberWorks Master Plan. The Master Plan identified investments to reduce flood risk while also achieving other benefits such as water quality improvements and habitat enhancement, as well as community and economic development. In addition to the North Shore Levee, the Fry Creek Restoration & Flood Reduction project is a major TimberWorks project that is currently underway. To learn more about flood relief work in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, please visit www.ezview.wa.gov/aberdeenfloodrelief.

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Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson:
I am very thankful for the Legislature’s continued support for the North Shore Levee and other important infrastructure projects in both Aberdeen and Hoquiam, as well as the rest of Grays Harbor. We are a community worth investing in and the legislature continues to acknowledge this fact. ~
Representative Brian Blake
“This historic project will protect families across Aberdeen and Hoquiam from floods, and will also protect and create jobs in the area, which will boost the economy,” said Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen, who made the capital budget request and secured the needed funds. “It’s a win-win, really, for everybody, and it will benefit Grays Harbor well into the future.” ~
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