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Date

Title

Summary

2014 Draft Feasibility GI Study Comments Draft Index
7/14/2014 Comment Letter Re: Skagit River GI Study DEIS LJK Comments on the Skagit River GI Study DEIS. 
See also: 5/2014 Skagit River Flood Risk Management General Investigation Skagit County, Washington Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement
5/19/2014
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David Anderson Comments “My recommendation is one should only consider the alternative... Setback Entire Levee System. ...  Any bypass, Joe Learly Slough, Swinomish, or Fir Island, should not be done as anyone of these will remove valuable farmland and most likely will divide current farm ownership.”
6/14/2014
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Unsigned Comments  
6/19/2014
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Transcript of June 19, 2014 Army Corps of Engineers Public Hearing “I'm disappointed that I feel like this is pitting community against community, and isn't really being supportive of the County. I feel like the city -- and it's pretty obvious if you look at the numbers, Burlington is the big winner. La Conner doesn't even come out that far ahead in this plan. And those of us who live outside the City of Burlington, and who aren't friends with the Corps, and don't meet with them every week or so, are really getting the short of the stick. If there's any way that our comments could make any changes, I'd feel better about this, but I've been to other of these meetings, and I've heard other comments and it doesn't seem like it is in consideration.”
. . .
“The preferred alternative here for District 12 Dike is the ugly. They've been a problem for 50 years, maybe 100, they've passed the water up river, Sterling, (inaudible) Sedro-Woolley, Clear Lake. They passed it down river to all the rest of the dike districts and Fir Island.”
6/20/2014
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Fred Wright Comments “In the long run, occasional dredging will not be as expensive as the extensive dike work you propose, which will put certain rural areas in more danger, but supposedly save the towns along the river. Quite frankly, I believe the general populace is more important than our small towns. By dredging the mouth, a larger area of floodplain will be less likely to flood. I’ve heard all the excuses for not dredging, and none of them are valid. (in my opinion).”
6/20/2014
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Heidi Herder Comments “The National Flood Insurance Program has to be mathematically solvent, where insurance premiums are equal to claims. Right now, there is no economic case for building a project, because the risk premiums are a government subsidized welfare program, so the rates are cheaper than building.  When the risk premiums accurately reflect damges, then communities can better see the rational payback on taxing themselves for flood projects.”
7/3/2014
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Robert Dow Comments “The results of the Skagit River GI Study (which took too long and cost too much) came as no surprise. There's an old saying, "Money talks and bullshit walks" and it is obvious to anyone that there are hundreds of millions of dollars in retail, real estate and residential n one side of the river and a economically disadvantaged area with some farmland on the other. I understand that Army Corps is interested in economic impact and helping the most people. I also know that no plan is perfect. However, it is obvious that the big win is for Burlington and Dike District #12, while others of us, (SW, Clear Lake, Sterling, Nookachamps, upriver communities) pay the price. Let me be specific about my concerns:
“• There is a clear "transference of risk". Skagit County has promised to try and minimize these risks but that is hardly reassuring. When I'm told we need to "mitigate" I'm uncertain what that means? Will I be compensated for this risk? Who will pay to raise my house (again)? I have to laugh when I read that we all need to, "Share the risk" when it is obvious everyone is not sharing.
“• For me there have been questions about transparency and honesty between stake-holders. There have been instances where I suspected collusion in the process. I remain in awe that Dike Dist. #12 seems to be able to do as they wish. They, along with the City of Burlington, and to some extent Skagit County have not acted in good faith nor been truthful about their intent. I feel, "sold down the river". Ultimately, my home and property are expendable while others prosper from the plan.”
7/8/2014
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Dike District 17 Comments “The district supports the Corps Tentatively Selected Alterative of a Comprehensive Urban Levee Improvement Plan. We believe this would be the most effective way to keep the majority of our county's major infrastructure secure from flood damages in the case of a large flood event. This plan allows the district to provide a higher level of protection to our urban community and keeps a majority of critical infrastructure functioning.
“The district also supports the potential for increased storage in the Baker River system. The increase in the amount of storage and the timing of that storage has a benefit to the entire Skagit basin. In the 2003 and 2006 floods of record, the enhanced levels of storage in the Baker System relieved the Skagit delta community from potentially higher impacts. This storage reduced the risk to life and property and lessoned flood related damages. The district feels written management practices and physical changes to the amount of dam storage will help ensure positive outcomes critical to the flood risk management in Skagit County.  Dike District 17 will continue to support such a macro impact approach to flood control.”
7/9/2014
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A Resolution of the City of Sedro-Woolley, Washington Commenting on the Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Skagit River Flood Risk Management General Investigation “Whereas, the City of Sedro-Woolley was an active partner in the Corps of Engineers General Investigation of flooding on the Skagit River until recently when the City was no longer included in meetings and discussions about flood reduction alternatives including the process for identifying the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP), and ... therefore, be it resolved by the City Council of the City of Sedro-Woolley: ... The City Council of the City of Sedro-Woolley has grave concerns about the possible transfer of flood risk from historical and traditional flood prone areas which have been heavily developed in recent decades to areas that developed over a century ago and which have never been at significant risk of flooding as may be possible if the TSP is constructed.”
7/10/2014
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Andrew and Krista Treadway Comments  
7/10/2014
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City of Sedro-Woolley Mayor Mike Anderson Comments “To state it bluntly. Sedro-Woolley has been very supportive of the GI Study, but always in the context of a river system-wide solution to flood risk. This TSP leaves Sedro-Woolley out when it comes to reducing flood risk and appears to increase flood risk to our community. We do not support a plan to increase the risk of flooding in the City of Sedro-Woolley. Indeed, the no action alternative appears be better for Sedro-Woolley than the $280.000.000 CULI plan. We need a plan that takes water out of the river system rather than moving water from high assessed value businesses to lower assessed value residents.  I appreciate the opportunity to comment on behalf of the City of Sedro-Woolley; I sincerely hope that these comments. as well as the comments made in Resolution 902-14 are taken seriously and incorporated into the final EIS and a redesigned project. This TSP, as presented, is not something we can support and if the USACE and Skagit County insist on selecting the CULI. as presented in the feasibility report, our community will have no choice but to actively fight this project.”
See also: 8/5/2014 City of Sedro-Woolley Additional Comments
7/10/2014
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Skagit County Agricultural Advisory Board Comments “The fundamental issue that is not sufficiently addressed in the Skagit General Investigation draft FR/EIS is the expedited removal of flood waters from the floodplain after an event. The highest risk to public safety and costliest damage to property is when flood water remains for extended time on the land and over roads. What must be addressed, whether or not an alternative is implemented, is construction of multiple outlet structures in the sea levees that would open at low tide and allow the water to escape. ... To this end, the Skagit County Agricultural Advisory Board supports the increase in the Baker Dam storage. We also request that the Army Corp investigate and facilitate the construction of outlet structures in appropriate locations to remove flood waters from the floodplain. Thank you.”
7/11/2014
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Sharon Metcalf Comments “We have to do something to protect Sedro-Woollley.”
7/14/2014
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Kathleen Lathom Comments “River dredging and structures in the river to control sediment build up, clear cut logging.”
7/14/2014
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Kelvey L. Melom Comments “The fun part, raising the dikes up is like moving the ceiling of your house up because the floor is dirty.”
7/14/2014
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Mike Blade Comments “Blade employs over 70 full-time staff and generates approximately $60 million in sales revenue for the local economy annually. Blade Chevrolet is in favor of the plan put forth in the Draft Feasibility Report plan proposed by the Corps. It is imperative that the area which now is annually put at risk be made safer and it appears that the plan as proposed would do so in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way.”
7/15/2014
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Gary T. Jones Comments “This letter comments on the draft Feasibility Report & Environmental Impact Statement published June 6 and presented at a public meeting on Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Mount Vernon. The undersigned attended that meeting as a representative of Skagit County Consolidated Diking Improvement District No. 22, Skagit County Diking District No. 17 and Skagit County Diking District No. 3. Our office also advises Skagit County Drainage and Irrigation Improvement Districts No. 15 and No. 17. ...
“Skagit County and USACE made plans to flood proof Skagit County in earlier feasibility reports 1962 and 1979. Each time the people have been unwilling to vote local funding essential to implement the plan to reduce flood risks. Except for residents of Nookachamps and Fir Island, who suffered devastation in 1990 the majority of Skagit watershed residents have paid a low price for voting not to fund flood risk reduction. Whether events such as Katrina and the Chehalis flooding have changed public opinion remains to be seen. However, there is broad acceptance of the “Tentatively Selected Plan” because of the communication initiated by Skagit County government to inform citizens and the various municipal and special purpose district elected representatives serving locally.
“The TSP is consistent with the essential elements of the Growth Management Act. The Act mandates population and public investment concentrated in urban areas. Natural resource lands and rural lands should be managed for low population density and high natural resource production. This vision of Skagit River watershed includes farms, forests, and fish as essential to a healthy community. The Districts urge the state and county government to align their plans for the Skagit watershed to reduce flood risk and realize a viable future with farms, forestry, and fish. In the short run the multijurisdictional hazard mitigation plan can do this. By building an early warning system, managing dams and keeping debris off bridges, coordinating the incident command structure, training leaders, including special purpose district commissioners and volunteers during annual flood awareness week drills, the Tentatively Selected Plan can reduce risk.”
7/15/2014
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Karen Leibrant Comments  
7/15/2014
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Michael Ellis Comments “We survived Burlington's last attempts to dike Gage's Slough, the city built a dike to protect Burlington properties during a flooding event. This dike also backed flood waters up into my neighborhood. My home was spared, some of my neighbors did not fare as well. Needless to say, there has been a lot of speculation about all the soil Burlington has been stockpiling, folks believe Burlington is going to use the dirt to build a levy to protect Burlington residential and commercial properties. That's great for Burlington, but the backed up flood water will affect everyone up river from it. Property values will plummet (including mine). The city of Sedro-Woolley will see major flooding in residential area that have not previously seen flooding. As a police officer for Sedro-Woolley I fear for the safety of our citizens, and know our small department will be woefully unprepared to respond to a large scale flooding event.”
7/15/2014
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Sandi & Sherwin Phillips Comments “How is this going to impact my home, my family, my mortage.  Since when is one town more important than the next?  I FEAR for my home if the City of Sedro-Woolley is left out of these changes.  Are you going to pay to rebuild and replace for us??”
7/16/2014
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John & Cheryl Bolden Comments “Ms. Hadley,
“We are writing as concerned Sedro-Woolley citizens who are opposed to the Comprehensive Urban Levy Improvement Plan as it currently stands. We understand that it is important to view the big picture and what is best for all concerned. However it is nonsense to consider a plan that would or could protect some areas of Burlington and Mount Vernon and jeopardize an area in Sedro-Woolley with three schools on site, let alone many, many residences and historical buildings. That is quite unreasonable to sacrifice schools for malls and businesses. We feel that additional studies need to be completed and more information collected prior to any decisions regarding this plan.
“The city of Sedro-Woolley needs to be represented in further meetings!!
“John and Cheryl Bolden”
7/16/2014
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Elaine Wright Comments “When we moved to Skagit County 27 years ago, we moved to Sedro Woolley. When we decided to build quality Built Green homes we chose Sedro Woolley because it is a wonderful community and it the area doesn't flood. We have nine properties in Sedro Woolley, seven are on Dunlop Avenue. This area has never flooded; if the proposed levies go in, they will flood. We will have to purchase flood insurance for all the houses. We will have to raise the rent to cover our additional costs, which will reduce the number of people who can afford the rent. In addition, forcing our property into the flood area will reduce their market values. Had the property been in a flood area, we would probably never built the houses. If we had decided, against all good sense, to go ahead with the project, we would have certainly considered flood elevations and flood mitigation measures prior to construction.
. . .
“Why should the few poorer people of Sedro Woolley have to pay the price for the not so smart richer people who built in a flood area?”
7/16/2014
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John Wright Comments “Full protection for all areas affected by any and all changes made.”
7/16/2014
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Lisa Marie Swanson Comments “Reducing flood risk for one town while increasing it for another does not help the county at large. Any plan to reduce flood risk along the Skagit River, for Skagit County, needs to address the flood risk of the entire county, not simply shift it around for the maximum profit. Proceeding with this plan essentially states that a business in Burlington has more value than my family home in Sedro Woolley.
“Recent SCOTUS decisions aside, here in my community, businesses aren't people, and people need to come first. The safety of the people, property, and pets of Sedro Woolley must have more priority than the profit of Burlington and Mount Vernon's businesses.”
7/16/2014
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Natural Resources Conservation Service Comments “As a Federal agency, USACE has a responsibility to lessen the effects of conversion activities on farmland and to ensure that actions are compatible, to the extent practicable, with State, local, and private programs to protect farmland.”
7/16/2014
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Unsigned Comments 01 “This is a great evil that needs to be stopped.  Stop this plan!!!”
7/17/2014
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Carol Bohmbach Comments  
7/17/2014
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Elisabeth Waldron Comments “Flood insurance is expensive and many people will not be able to afford it. I do not believe we should be forced by anyone to pay for something we do not want to pay for. The people who live in the City of Sedro-Woolley choose to live here because IT DOES NOT FLOOD HERE and we do not have to pay flood insurance.”
7/17/2014
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Jeanette Hoffman Comments “I am asking that the levies not be raised in Burlington causing more flood risk in Sedro-Woolley.  This is not a community that can absorb the additional costs of Flood Insurance or flood damage.”
7/17/2014
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Joanne Swenson Comments “I've seen the river rise to Dunlop St & Township St when it has flooded in the past.  There is a ledge there.  If dikes are put in downriver to protect other cities from flooding, Sedro-Woolley will surely flood!”
7/17/2014
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Kristi Curtin Comments “As a resident & business owner in Sedro-Woolley, I cannot stress enough the need for a study on our environment, residential & businesses that would be affected.”
7/17/2014
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Lea Shato Comments “The owners of the businesses and homes in Mount Vernon and Burlington were completely aware of the flood history in the areas where they built. And now, they want to make it Sedro Woolley's problem. Sedro Woolley is not as affluent as Mount Vernon and Burlington, so I guess it okay to flood us. We don't have the money or the voice of these other towns, combining their financial impact on the local economy. I do not understand how a bad decision (to build in a flood zone) is the responsibility of those who did not make that bad decision. I think the towns should suffer the consequences of their decisions. Mount Vernon and Burlington are not too big to fail...oops, too big to flood.
“
If a solution to the flooding potential in Mount Vernon and Burlington can be managed in a different way, rather than increasing the flood possibility in Sedro Woolley, I am all for it. A flood is a horrible loss for all involved. I wish that on no one, but Sedro Woolley is not a throw away town. We matter too.”
See also: 7/18/2014 Lea Shato Additional Comments
7/17/2014
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Lorrie Chance Comments  
7/17/2014
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Patricia Mosher Comments “Please consider the population up river instead of just Mt. Vernon & Burlington.  A lot is at stake.”
7/17/2014
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Pola Kelley, Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Comments “In a former position I was an Allstate Insurance Agent, I know how much difference the diking near Mount Vernon and Burlington has as an impact to other areas of the Skagit River Watershed. Sedro-Woolley prides itself on having built primarily above the flood plain and residents and business owners know the value to their properties being in zones outside the 100 year flood plain. It does not take a genius or an engineer to know that if you push the water higher it will back up. Children can play with this concept at the Children's museum. We find the plan to protect Mount Vernon and Burlington at the expense of the rest of the county to be irresponsible and can not support such a decision
7/17/2014
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Samish River Basin Dike District Commissioners Letter “It appears that drainage issues will be "determined later" at the feasibility stage but to those of us familiar with permitting basic drainage maintenance and necessary repairs, this is a red herring. The fact is it takes years and intense negotiation to maintain existing infrastructure, The systems are over-due for upgrade and augmentation yet the path to implement improvements is blocked by permitting and various environmental review processes. In order to implement the TSP it is necessary for the drainage facilities and possibly some of the Samish diking systems to be upgraded but there is no discussion on how that may happen. Waiting until a flood happens or after the project is built is too late.”
7/17/2014
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Shannon Burrow Comments “These same issues were voted against in 1979 so why is it that they are once again being pushed through when they were previously rejected? I have many concerns regarding these changes and feel that this is something that should not be decided by the chosen few who are most likely to benefit from it.”
7/17/2014
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Stacey Harris Comments  
7/17/2014
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Tom Hoffman Comments “We bought this property because it wasn't in the flood zone and we didn't have to buy flood insurance.  Creating flood zones to protect properties built in the flood zone and already insured is moronic. ...

“This is complete B.S.  How can anyone justify this creating flood zones to protect businesses that build in the flood zone and can afford flood insurance?”
7/18/2014
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Alaskan Bean Comments “Raising the dikes in Burlington will put thousands of families in danger that were never affected before.  Seniors, widowers, single moms, children, you name it, all for the benefit of "big business." The computer model shows an enormous area that was not in danger before. All the homes are being sacrificed so the businesses will be exempt from flood insurance. Now the homes that were exempt from flood insurance will now be required to purchase flood insurance.”
7/18/2014
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Brian Ferguson Comments “This plan, should it continue, is doing nothing more than placing one group of people in danger in favor of another group of people. This is a horrible notion. In a situation like this, levies aren't the answer. "Transferring" risk from one community to another is not the way to help anyone. Especially when the group of people having to take the "risk" on are less able to help and fend for themselves in the event of a natural disaster. ”
7/18/2014
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Chelsea Jepperson Comments “Our towns are not prepared for that kind of water increase, especially if we get a higher than average flood year. Please look into this, it seems like an obvious misuse of a levy if other towns will be directly affected in a negative way. I live in Sedro-Woolley Washington directly upriver from Burlington along the Skagit River and I would be affected by this as will my entire town. The certified levys will cause more problems in areas that are currently unaffected.”
7/18/2014
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Donald Moe Comments “First of all I would like to thank you for your work and your willingness to involve the citizens of Skagit County in this process. As a former commissioner of DD#1 and property owner in DD#1, I still have an interest in adequate flood protection, specifically through the use of interlocking sheet pile. For the record I am in no way writing on behalf of the commissioners of DD#1. Commissioners have as their mandate the protection of “all” citizens and property owners of the district and I would not want to be in the unenviable position of protecting one segment of our population [urban] at the expense of the other [rural].”
7/18/2014
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Donna Stark Comments “I am a single, 65 year old woman.  It is unbelievable that my retirement and well being could be "washed away" because of the finances of big business.  I would be completed, done.  My health would be effected and my only home gone with no means to move on.  I am one of many who would be effected - all for bug businesss!  Many will boycott these businesses.”
7/18/2014
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Ernie Goetzinger Comments “We have an rv site at Janike Cove. We were recently given notice that many of the improvements are in violation - because of floodways. And that this came about due to flood insurance rates. From your message, it seems apparent that the levee proposal is planning on flooding us out. My situation is OK - I have an RV that can be moved at a moments notice, but there are other residents that have invested their retirement into a quality life stile. This would be destroyed with the potential fiver levels. We are concerned that the focus is on the commercial areas, and not the citizens. Why are we less important?”
7/18/2014
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Eugene D. AA Comments “Allowing the Lower Skagit to raise dikes that would raise river levels at flood stage is totally unacceptable.  Our taxes are increasing every year.  It becomes more of a burden to pay taxes to fund studies like these that have the potential to cut our own throats.  I implore you to be fair handed for all citizens when doing these studies that could become law.”
7/18/2014
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Gary Huntsman Comments “I live in Janicki Cove.  We have been asked to remove all Park Motel housing units, storage sheds, and other structures that can hinder the flow of water in the floodway.  This would cause the water to rise in the floodplain.  This was initiatied by FEMA, EPA and other government agencies.  Now it appears the Army Corps of Engineers is going to raise dikes and put in new dikes that will do exactly what Janicki Cove has to remove our structures to prevent what the dikes will do.  Do these government agencies talk at all?  You go figure.  Everyone get their act together.”
7/18/2014
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Jack McDougle Comments “I live in Sedro-Woolley on Jennings where you have proposed to flood my home. We have lived in our home for 42 years and never once been flooded. That includes the 100 year flood plain we are currently not in. BUT if this levy goes in we will be flooded. The owners of the businesses and homes in Mount Vernon and Burlington were completely aware of the flood history in the areas where they built. And now, they want to make it Sedro Woolley's problem. Sedro Woolley is not affluent as Mount Vernon and Burlington so I guess it's okay to flood us. I don't think so. We don't have the money or the voice of these other towns, combining their financial impact on the local economy. I do not understand how a bad decision (to build in a flood zone) is the responsibility of those who did not make that bad decision. I think the towns should suffer the consequences of their decisions. If a solution to the flooding potential in Mount Vernon and Burlington can managed in a different way, rather than increasing the flooding possibilities in Sedro Woolley, I am for it. A flood is a horrible loss for all involved. I wish that on no one, but Sedro Woolley is not a throw away town. We matter too. I do not want my home to become like Katrina in Mississippi.”
7/18/2014
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Jeri McDougle Comments “The mayor of Sedro-Woolley should be included to participate in the levy studies.”
7/18/2014
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Jerry Haegemeyer Comments “Property owners in Sedro-Woolley should not have to give up their homes and lives as a buffer for dikes downriver.  We need to have protection.”
7/18/2014
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Jerry Wickmire Comments  
7/18/2014
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Joel & Connie Doomenball Comments “It is unfair to put us at risk by building levees downriver.  Other options - such as manmade waterways to drain water away need to be considered.”
7/18/2014
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John Eades Comments “I request you and your technical and political personnel honestly consider that presentation empathetically, as if you and your family were in our position.
“Twenty five years ago, you would have purchased property close to (but not too close, both horizontally and vertically) the Skagit River, anticipating retirement. The project was not taken lightly. The property was flat, well vegetated and in an area suited to your interests. Ten years ago, you designed a substantial home specifically for that property and over the next four years you personally constructed that home, nailing each stud and joist, erecting each wall, applying each shingle, making each electrical connection, etc., etc.
“You investigated the flood risk. You obtained flooding records back to the 1930’s. You acquired aerial photographs of serious area flooding from the 1940’s through the present. You made flood risk decisions based on historical facts. You accepted that known risk.
“Other people downriver did the same. They built homes, developed businesses, planted crops and made lives based on similar risk decisions. This is where the stories may diverge… The downriver entities made their decisions on riskier grounds, choosing that risk to take advantage of higher profit potentials or better views. They knew that risk. Then, unsatisfied with the risk, they employed the political process to improve their risk position. Their property values and population density, now of higher relative value than yours, must deserve greater protection – notwithstanding they made their previous purchase or development plans based on the same risk assessment you did. The Corps of Engineers must of course oblige. That is their ostensible job.”
7/18/2014
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Kay Brunke Comments “I have lived in Janicki Cove Community for 17 years, it is right on the river.  I have never been flooded and now I will be totally flooded out if the GI Study goes as planned with the 100 year flood.”
7/18/2014
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Kristi Curtin Comments “This is a request that there would be an immediate study on the environmental impacts for Sedro Woolley.  As a business owner, a flood would devastate my business as well as all others including residents - as well as my own.  Business owners along with the chamber have done so much to improve our wonderful community and I see it growing.  Please do a study so there can be improvements made to avoid a devastation such as a flood.”
7/18/2014
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Larry & Judith Ashe Comments  
7/18/2014
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Lea Shato Additional Comments “After penning my response to the proposed dyke improvements for Burlington and Mount Vernon, it occurred to me that purposely engineering a flood prevention system that floods areas of Sedro Woolley, previously NOT in the flood plane, in an attempt to alleviate flooding in Mount Vernon and Burlington, you would be leaving Skagit County and perhaps the State of Washington open to a serious class action law suit. I think they call it "malice aforethought." You might want to consider the legal repercussions of such a studied change.”
(See also 7/17/2014 Lea Shato Comments)
7/18/2014
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Nancie Silves Comments “Is this really what it has become?  We think now of big businesses than we do of our own people.  This has to STOP!”
7/18/2014
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Norvel E. Rogers Comments “I like living in Sedro Woolley without water in my yard every winter.  Raising the dikes downriver from Sedro-Woolley will raise flood levels, and flood our homes.  We may also have to buy mandatory Federal Flood Insurance which would force us to sell our home.”
7/18/2014
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Rog and Gail Welborn Comments “This seems to be driven by money interests since the "protected" business community will no longer have to purchase flood insurance if the footage is added to the dike. If the plan is approved as is, the upriver community interests remain ignored, we plan to mount a major upriver community boycott of ALL Burlington businesses
7/18/2014
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Roger and Sally Crawford Comments “It would appear that the plan is to raise the levy down river from
Sedro Woolley. If that is the case then the city of Sedro Woolley will indeed flood where it has never flooded before. All of the people who spent their lives paying for homes that were previously safe from the floods will now suddenly be at great risk. Flood insurance is expensive and will not be of much consolation when every thing that used to be safe is now gone.”
7/18/2014
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Sheila & James Huff Comments “We are all prepared to boycott Burlington businesses.”
7/18/2014
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Tim Adams Comments “Very unclear what these maps mean.”
7/18/2014
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U.S. Department of Interior Comments “As noted in the DEIS, existing flood control measures on the Skagit River, most notably levees, in addition to widespread development within the floodplain, have caused long-term adverse effects including loss of floodplain function; loss of riparian function, including streamside cover and nutrient input; loss of channel and stream bank complexity; lower rates of large woody debris recruitment, etc. These effects have occurred throughout the lower Skagit River, and combined with the effects of dams on the upper river have resulted in a reduction in quality and quantity of habitat for anadromous and resident fish.”
7/18/2014
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Yew Halem Comments “More water must flow down Skagit River to the Bay to reduce flood risk.  Dike District 12 levees are the main problem.  These levees force water upstream above Sedro-Woolley and downstream to the other dikes districts, they would not exist as they are without C.O.E. help.”
7/19/2014
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Brenda Rindal Comments “I am totally against a dike in Burlington & Mt. Vernon. ... Listen to the old timers and hear what they have to say - they are against this plan.  My 88 year old father remembers all the floods if you raise the dike my old neighborhood would flood Plaza View Drive.”
7/20/2014
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Peg and Brad Bodin Comments “We have lived in Sedro-Woolley on Alexander Street for 24 1/2 years. Prior to that we lived in Mt Vernon in an area that required flood insurance for our home loan. When we moved to Sedro-Woolley, it was a relief that we were not required to have flood insurance any longer.
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“I have looked at the flood insurance cost for our home and found it very expensive. Much higher than insuring the house against all other risks in our homeowners insurance. I understand that flooding is expensive and that the premiums are needed to cover the resulting damage. However, I’m concerned that this project is transferring the risk and cost others knowingly took on to those of us living slightly upriver. I know that Sedro-Woolley has a free and reduced lunch rate over 50%. The rate in this neighborhood is higher than that. While I, personally, could find the funds to purchase flood insurance, I strongly believe many of my neighbors could not without a serious impact on their financial situation.
“I am also concerned with the damage this project will have on our home value. Our modest home is very important to our eventual retirement. The loss of home value due to increased flood risk or worse, the loss of our home to flood damage, would be a terrible blow. I am very aware of the repeated floods in Hamilton and their impact and am concerned that we are being set up to be next in line.”
7/20/2014
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Russell Hutchison Comments “I am the owner of ... Fidalgo Place in Sedro Woolley. It is my
understanding that the Comprehensive Urban Levy Improvement plan is basically a plan to force myself, and hundreds of other people to purchase flood insurance because I will be placed in the flood plain by this plan. I didn’t buy a house in a flood plain for a reason. Not only that but your plan will make it so my house is harder to sell if I chose to do so.
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7/20/2014
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Valerie Stull Comments “My family has occupied the same home for 3 generations in Clear Lake.
“I understand that the homes and towns east of your lovely high levee in Burlington are to.be sacrificed for the township over there.
“My home happens to be one of those which has escaped any damage from flooding since its origin in the 1880s.
“Please dont throw us to the wolves.”
7/21/2014
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David Top Comments “If the water level comes up higher that it does now, our houses and buildings will be very impacted. If studies informing me that the flood level will rise because new dikes are made are available, I could be informed. But as my city government is informing me, those studies have not been done. So I urge you to inform me what will happen to my property, before any changes are made. ... My flood insurance policy is going crazy. My brother is a flood insurance agent and has informed me that my policy will likely be close to $2000 a year soon. I can't afford you to raise my flooding risk any more with higher dikes in other areas, but not in mine.”
7/21/2014
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Jennifer Thramer Comments “I feel as a landowner, and a resident of Sedro Woolley, that the USACE owes my City and me a fully researched plan with analysis of both East and West adjustments of the river. My city and the community has been here a lot longer than some of the areas this plan is meant to protect. Those people knew they were in the flood plain. They accepted that risk in purchasing their home. I did not.  Nor am I all right with accepting it now.”
7/21/2014
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John Sedgerick Comments  
7/21/2014
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Kimberlee Hutchison Comments  
7/21/2014
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Lyle & Beverly Mosher Comments  
7/21/2014
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Marie Hyler Comments  
7/21/2014
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Morgan Family Comments “How in good consicence can you possibly consider moving forward with this?”
7/21/2014
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Nicole Rambow Comments “We are all in it together why shouldn’t all of the jurisdictions participate and be protected together? By allowing one city or dike district to start protecting their own area surely you can understand that another area will be affected. Please have us all work together.”
7/21/2014
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Norvel Rogers, Jr. Comments “I am concerned that it appears Sedro-Woolley is being left out of the process.

“I am extremely concerned that the new home I bought for my wife/child/family may now flood if the levees are changed in Burlington.

“I am extremely concerned that I may be forced to buy flood insurance, something when buying my house did not need.

“I am extremely concerned that the residents of Sedro-Woolley are being sacrificed for the residents of Mount Vernon & Burlington.”
7/21/2014
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Reisa Sines Comments  
7/21/2014
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Robert & Debra Gustafson Comments “My family and I have lived in south Sedro Woolley for over 45 years. It has never flooded in the surrounding residential area in that time or ever that I am aware of. If the army corps of engineers and the county decide to raise the dikes around Burlington, is this a wise decision for south Sedro Woolley residents? A complete study should be done before attempting any such undertaking I made a decision to live here based on many things, NOT being flooded out would be one of them. Please reconsider raising the dikes to save some so others can be in harms way. We all made a decision to live and build based on the facts at that time. Don't change the facts to benefit some.”
7/21/2014
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Roger Mitchell Comments “Private property owners and agricultural landowners need to be adequately compensated by contracts executed before any land work associated with this plan is commenced. Any flood mitigation contemplated or implemented must adhere to the Washington State Attorney General’s “Advisory Memorandum: Avoiding Unconstitutional Takings of Private Property”. In making any flood mitigation choice it is imperative that private property rights be respected. Often that property is the physical manifestation of people’s lives, careers, hopes, and dreams. Private property is often the heritage of generations of a person’s family lineage.”
7/21/2014
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Ross O. Barnes Comments “Incredibly, USACE assumes this scientifically, technically, hydraulically flawed proposal will work because they only “allow” a right bank channel breach in the Sterling area east of Burlington which forces flood flows around the north end of Burlington where they will preferentially flow “downslope” northwest and southwest to marine waters and conveniently keep the unprotected sides of Burlington and Mount Vernon essentially flood free as depicted in Figure 3-15 of the FR/EIS. USACE needs to provide a technically valid argument as to why rural 25 year flood levees will successfully contain floods up to the 250 year level and thus prevent back-flooding into the unprotected western flank of Burlington and the unprotected western and southern flanks of Mount Vernon. Or USACE needs to specify what magic wand or incantation will prevent 100 to 250 year floods from over-topping and breaching 25 year rural levees.”
7/21/2014
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Sedro-Woolley Wastewater Treatment Plant Comments “Skagit County Commissioner Sharon Dillon recently attended a City Council meeting and shared that she would be walking in flood waters around her home on Fidalgo Street during a 100 year event. If flood waters indeed reach this level, the City of Sedro-Woolley will have at least 5 miles of sewer pipe under water. A submerged gravity sewer system with head pressure in essence becomes a pressurized force main which will push water into the WWTP and cause sewage to over top structures. At this point, the ring dike designed to protect the Treatment Plant becomes worthless and provides absolutely no protection, all at the expense of taxpayer dollars.
“Homes throughout the City will also experience internal flooding as sewage under pressure begins to spill out floor drains, toilets and bath tubs, thereby creating a potential health risk for those exposed to contaminated water.
“I highly recommend the Army Corps of Engineers perform hydraulic modeling and provide this data to the City of Sedro-Woolley before taking further action.”
7/21/2014
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Shannon and George Lauder Comments “Born and raised in Skagit county we knew the potential for flooding. When we decided to purchase a house we intentionally purchased outside of flood zone. We are a struggling couple barely able to make ends meet as is in our economy. I fear that the addition of flood insurance to our monthly bills may be more than we can afford. Although the housing market is getting better. We cannot afford to sell and once again find a home outside of the flood zone. I do not understand why one town (that has always known the potential for flooding) is being prioritized over another.”
7/21/2014
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Thomas R. Plank Comments “To protect the potentially damaging flooding of two communities and ignore the third is a shameful act.  I would propose that if the Urban Levy Improvement plan occurs: those who suffer flooding in Sedro Woolley should receive payment for their loss and have their flood insurance paid for. A fund could be set aside with taxes collected county wide to compensate these residents. It would be fair to divide the costs of the new levies and the fund three ways between residents of the three cities affected by the 100 year flood.
“I can only hope that the burden of flood costs not be laid on those affected by flooding caused by down river levies.”
7/21/2014
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Unsigned Comments “Why protect one town to jeopardize another?  ...  This is a concern to every citizen, but an enormous burden on seniors with fixed incomes.  You have to be concerned about our first class water treatment plant and hospitals.  I appreciate our city council for taking a stand to be a part of the process.”
7/22/2014
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Erica Chandler Comments “I strongly oppose this plan because it is unjust in its effects on the residents of Sedro-Woolley. I bought my home on Fidalgo Place in Sedro Woolley in late 2010, knowing that I would be far enough from the river to not be required to pay flood insurance or to ever have to worry about my home being ravaged by flood waters. Now I've been made aware of a half-baked plan that would change my situation drastically, along with many other residents that call this lovely town home.”
7/24/2014
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Eric Hall Comments “I spoke with an hydrologist who was present and I asked him for his estimate on the increased flood levels at our home at River Vista Court in Mount Vernon when construction for the Comprehensive Urban Levee Improvement Alternative is completed. I don't remember his name and was hoping you would know and could share that with me please.”
7/25/2014
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Ron Fairblander Comments “I fully support Mayor Anderson & the Sedro-Woolley City Council's decisions.”
7/25/2014
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Swinomish Indian Tribe Comments “We believe that the CULI will result in damage to fish populations due to degradation of habitat associated with the construction and maintenance of new levees and toe rock proposed for protecting the levees. Increased offshore export of sediment due to additional channel restrictions in the face of increasing magnitude and frequency of flooding associated with climate change will negatively impact the maintenance and formation of critical estuarine habitats. The project as proposed will result in an increase in the export of juvenile salmon associated with increased velocities contained within the channel. Additional erosional forces will have adverse impacts on the little remaining high quality salmon habitat within the project area.”
7/27/2014
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Dennis Clark Comments An Anacortes resident opines, “The information provided in the Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (FR/EIS) appears to show that the CULI alternative is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to achieve the objectives of flood hazard risk reduction while minimizing harmful impacts to the environment. While I expect there will be some concerns about the implications for rural areas of the CULI alternative, I think that on balance it will better contribute to our county-wide goals of improvements in public safety, environmental protection, and sustainable development by protecting existing urban areas and encouraging further development (“in-fill”) in those areas.”
7/28/2014
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Konrad Kurp Comments “Should an intensional overflow or dike break location be included in this study?  Things don't always go according to plan. Maybe an extra relieve valve for the loaded system might come in handy. Do we leave this scenario up to chance, because we can not agree on where to locate such a feature?”
7/29/2014
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James B. Tilley Comments “If Burlington is allowed to raise more dikes you are allowing us to be flooded.  Why do you protect the malls that were built in the floodplain and flood homeowners.  I am a property owner and my wife and I are behind our Mayor's decision to sue in order to protect our home.”
7/29/2014
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Leon Green Comments “Any improvements for protection from floods on the Skagit Valley should be a program that benefits Mt. Vernon, Burlington & Sedro-Woolley equally.  If not, then nothing should be done & everyone suffers the consequences.”
7/29/2014
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Nathan Sanders Comments “This levy improvement plan is as stated a transfer of risk plan that does nothing except transfer higher flood risk from people; commercial as well as residential who knew their flood risk when they acquired property in the areas involved, to the residents and businesses who made their decision for investment on homes and businesses outside of a known flood zone.
“I believe that this is not a viable option for flood mitigation due simply to the fact that the potential for decrease in home values increased insurance premiums and not to mention the extreme damage and inconveinence that a flood would cause for an unknown number of people that had the forethought to not live in a flood zone.  Simply put,
transferring the risk to a less valuable and less developed area is just selish and irresponsible.
“
Its like going on a shopping spree and racking up a whole bunch of debt and then just deciding that you don't think you should have to pay it back so you pass all your bills for someone else to pay... it doesn't work that way
7/29/2014
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Steve Meissner Comments  
7/30/2014
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Louise A. Harris Comments “I was appaled to hear that you plan may back water up into lower Sedro-Woolley streets.  Poor planning allows malls, businesses, etc. to build in the flood plain then they get protection at other peoples' expense!  Outrageous.”
7/30/2014
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Sedro-Woolley School District Comments “In addition to our concern about Clear Lake Elementary, we also have concerns about Central and Mary Purcell Elementary schools, as well as Sedro-Woolley High School. The concern is that these three schools will be affected by flooding, especially after comments made by public officials that Fidalgo Street would more than likely be under water when flooding occurs. Based on conversations with the Sedro-Woolley City officials, we are also very concerned that the wastewater treatment plant (located between Sterling and Alexander Streets) will not be adequately protected from flooding, resulting in the overwhelming of the system. If this is the case, there would be a major safety issue with our nearby schools and families.
“Our concern is not only with our school facilities, but with displaced families and school closures, resulting in property damage, monetary impacts and loss of instruction, potentially for a significant period of time. The emotional toll placed on our families and more importantly, our children, would be devastating and in some cases irreversible.
“In conclusion, we ask that before final decisions are made to raise levee levels, that the corps study the impacts of the tentatively selected project on our schools and school community.”
7/30/2014
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Skagit Climate Science Consortium (SC2) Comments “The Skagit GI has a Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) projected to cost $225 million dollars plus $800,000 annually for Baker Dam operations. An expenditure of this magnitude will likely be the most significant, if not the only effort of its kind for many decades, and presents an important and unique opportunity for the valley to prepare for flooding exacerbated by climate change. Furthermore, if the changes identified in the TSP ultimately prove to be inadequate in coping with future flood risks, it is questionable that the region will be able to secure the resources to conduct additional analysis or make expensive, time-consuming changes or improvements to recent infrastructure investments of this scale. Proposed alternatives put forward as part of the GI need to be explicitly and thoroughly tested under the conditions they will likely encounter, including climate change (increasing peak flows, increasing sediment loads, and sea level rise).”
7/31/2014
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Debbie Cornish Comments “I am a resident of Sedro Woolley as are my family members. We live in the area that would be affected by the proposed levees. This proposal makes me feel as if the residents of Sedro Woolley are considered of lesser importance than the urban improvements made in Mt. Vernon and Burlington. When I bought my home, I did so knowing that it was not in the flood plain. My family, that resides closer to the river has lived in their home for over 45 years. They too bought their home knowing that they were not in the flood plain. The fact that the county is concerned about protecting businesses instead of residents is appalling. Thanks so much for proposing to protect out sewage treatment plant and hospital. Meaning you don’t want our pollution, but would leave our hospital to treat the injured. How thoughtful of you. Does the county also propose that they would compensate us for our loss of property value and pay our flood insurance?”
8/1/2014
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Marcia Ellyson-Billman Comments “Please consider Sedro Woolley’s concern and redo this impact statement with the lives and homes of 10,540 est pop in consideration. Thank you Marcia Billman”
8/1/2014
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Sherry Lynch Comments “Increasing the height of current levies in order to minimize flood risk to the City of Burlington at the expense of the city of Sedro-Woolley and its residents is not an acceptable plan.  Within the affected area of concern (south side of State St), are two elementary and one senior high schools, a dementia facility and the cities waste water treatment facility. ... Sacrificing a community just because it has a lower assessed value is not acceptable when there are other options available. How about cleaning up some of the "added" materials that have been "temporarily" been placed into the river over the past years? How long is "temporarily"?”
8/1/2014
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Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Comments “First, to set the record straight, in a number of pages of the GI, e.g. pg. 2, 21, and 211, there is reference to 5 tribes with reservations or U and A's in the Skagit watershed. This is incorrect; the only tribes with Treaty protected rights in the Skagit watershed are the Swinomish, Upper Skagit and Sauk Suiattle. The GI also lists the USIT population at 230, while in reality; the Tribe has a membership of in excess of 1200 members, many of whom live in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties. ...
“As noted above, the Tribe is also an intervener in and a signatory to the Baker River Hydropower Facility (FERC #2150) Settlement Agreement, as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"). The settlement is structured around the intent to rebuild the Baker Sockeye run to sustainably harvestable numbers. In addition the license focuses on improving downstream (Skagit River) instream flows that better protect ESA listed and other treaty fishery resources. As a result, the inclusion of the Baker measure in all alternatives restricts the ability to analyze costs and benefits of such a measure. The Tribe is concerned that the potential impacts to the Baker Sockeye rebuilding and the Treaty Fishery are not being studied nor analyzed in a manner that was committed to under the Settlement Agreement for FERC #2150, nor to the Tribe's United States protected Treaty Rights. ...
“As stated above, the Tribe's treaty protected sockeye fishery provides food for elders, cultural fishing opportunities for members in the immediate area of its aboriginal villages and food and financial assistance to the Tribe's growing number of fishers.
The USACE's proposal impacting the sockeye fishery will eliminate as much as one third (1/3) of the income that the Tribe's fishers produce for better than 25% of the tribal households in the three county area surrounding the Skagit River. Nowhere in the DFREIS are these facts produced, let alone analyzed. This deficiency is not only glaring, but produces a result which is contrary to the USACE's trust responsibility to the Tribe.”
8/3/2014
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Brett Sandstrom, Sedro-Woolley City Councilman Comments “It is reprehensible and immoral to endanger one person over another. Sedro-Woolley has a long, floodfree existence; my house has been standing strong and dry for over one-hundred and twenty-two years. These possible flood control measures on the Skagit River will have negative impacts on me, my family, and my neighbors, including three school zones – Mary Purcell and Central Elementary Schools, and Sedro-Woolley High School.
“The City of Sedro-Woolley has, in good faith and in a cooperative manner, contributed to the flood control process here in Skagit County, and we demand that our concerns are address and solutions found before any projects are completed.
“We demand that any project shows the true affect on all the residents of the City of Sedro-Woolley; the studies must be done.
“We demand that any project shows the true affect on the schools located in the newly affected area; when the full studies are completed.
“We demand that the flood control projects take in consideration population of a city over assessed value.
“We demand the same protection against flooding that the downriver cities will benefit from.”
8/4/2014
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City of Mount Vernon Public Works Comments “To the extent the proposed mitigation measures provide flood protection at or greater than the desired levels within the City's UGA, the City is in general support the GI Study. In those areas which the study cannot demonstrate such flood protection, the City respectfully requests that the USACE Corps demonstrate through the EIS process that those areas within the City's UGA where measures fail to provide 100 year flood protection or greater will not receive adverse environmental impacts caused by the project, including but not limited to the results of rerouting, collecting or otherwise directing greater volumes of water during a flood event.
“Lastly, another important area that we request to be more thoroughly addressed in the GI study is assurance that the selected alternative does no harm to others. The need for the project to mitigate for its adverse impacts to our neighbors and community members is essential.”
8/4/2014
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Dike District 12 Comments “The DD12 Commissioners are in support of this GI Study proposal with selection of the CULI, Comprehensive Urban Levee Improvement. The District has worked with the City of Burlington and Skagit County for many years in support of the GI Study. The District complements the Corps for the diligent work and effort which appears to be bringing the study to completion over these past many years that the study has proceeded. In the interim, the District has worked closely with the City of Burlington for the project which will be included in the CULI. A significant amount of related levee and flood protection work has preceded this proposal, for which DD12 is currently moving through the permit process with the City of Burlington and Skagit County.”
See also: DD12 Levee Shoreline Substantial Development Permit Issues Page
8/4/2014
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John Matterand DDS Comments “I work in a dental office very close to United General Hospital and live just south of Clear Lake on Hwy 9.  Both my livelihood and my water supply for my home are under a significant increased risk of damage from flooding by the increase in flood height brought about by the increased levee heights in Burlington. A mention was made in the study that the 1 foot increase in flood depths would only last for a day. I am not sure how that was determined but it does not matter to a dental office whether the flood damage is 1 day or 3 days, the damage will be extensive. With that increased flood depth the flood protection built into my dental office is negated.The increase in flood levels will obviously bring about an increase in flood insurance premiums that have already experienced a significant increase just last year.  Are there plans to subsidize those increased costs for those of us in the storage area for Burlington and Mount Vernon? I believe that allowing Burlington, Dike District 12, and Mount Vernon to increase levee heights and reducing their flood insurance premiums should be offset by a subsidy of flood insurance premium increases for affected areas.
“I do not believe that enough emphasis has been given to the risk to infrastructure upstream from Burlington. If United General Hospital has a flood protection structure built around it, it protects the building but if the hospital is completely cut off to ground transportation by flood waters it rapidly will lose it's effectiveness and will need to be evacuated by air. The importance of Hwy. 9 as an alternative to I-5 was demonstrated just last year but this Hwy. would be cut off with a significant flood event (increased likelihood under this proposal). Hwy. 20 east of Burlington would be cut off. I am a Commissioner for FPD #4 (Clear Lake). The Clear Lake Fire Building would need to be evacuated and fire events and medical aid calls might not be able to have a timely response.”
8/4/2014
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Julie Anderson Comments “My husband and I have owned this house since 1983 and have experienced a few floods. We raised the house with money out of our pocket after the 1995 flood to be one foot above flood stage per Army Corp and above the railroad tracks to the north of us knowing the water will flow northwest and not flood our house. We haven’t been flooded since 1995 and life has been good. Now Burlington and Dike District 12 want to raise the dikes higher and push water into our house. Your Urban levy will
protect Burlington at our cost.
“This is wrong! Burlington built in the wrong place but is lucky to have I-5 and Hwy 20 crossroads so commercial development happened. Now they want to protect this commercial development at the risk of thousands of people to the east. People and homes are more valuable than Costco’s and Home Depots? Please think of the people who will be displaced by flood water that is pushed back on to them. What happens to their lives after their homes get flooded? Box stores and commercial development knew they were developing in the flood bull’s eye. It will be a minor blip on the stock market for maybe not a day to a Home Depot but to people lives it can be very traumatic. Please think about the common people.
.”
8/4/2014
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Washington State Department of Transportation Comments “It appears that the greatest risk to state highway infrastructure will be on SR 20 at Sterling, SR 9 in the Nookachamps, SR 11 as it crosses the Joe Leary Slough and 1-5 between the new Burlington Levee and Bow Hill. We at WSDOT would like to continue assisting the Corps and Skagit County with these refinements. Also, WSDOT owns and operates drainage/stormwater infrastructure, which should be included in the flood flow return—post event drawdown.”
8/5/2014
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City of Burlingtom Comments “Burlington has a long history of over 110 years as an incorporated City, and the role of the City as a regional service center has greatly expanded over the past 20+ years, primarily because of its central location. Implementing the CULI TSP is vital to protecting important transportation corridors. We recognize that it is not possible to protect all occupants in the Skagit River Basin equally. The common sense approach of reducing the flood risk to the greatest portion of the population coupled with protecting the economic generators of the region is the right approach as achieved by implementing the CULI action. The City of Burlington is home to approximately 9,500 jobs and is a significant generator of state and local sales tax revenue through its regionally significant retail center. This economic engine must be preserved and protected for the benefit of the region. ...
“Containing and channeling flood waters are thoroughly analyzed in the report. An equally important component in the flood fight is conveying the waters away from affected areas as quickly as possible. Gages Slough parallels the Skagit River from north of Burlington to downstream of Mount Vernon. This waterway has become stagnant over the years, and has been choked by sedimentation and vegetation. Dredging of Gages Slough and armoring it to convey vast amounts of water should be considered as an additional component of the CULI.
“The City of Burlington supports inclusion of thorough evaluation of, and mitigation measures for any impacts to our neighboring communities from the implementation of the CULI TSP. As a result,
Burlington asks that the CULI thoroughly identify the impacts to the City of Sedro-Woolley and outlying areas to minimize and mitigate for additional water which might be channeled their way
8/5/2014
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City of Sedro-Woolley Additional Comments “On Page 5, NHC summarizes as follows, "In summary, the project would eliminate levee overtopping within the project reach during the 100-year flood. A natural consequence of this type of partial levee improvement is decreased flooding behind the improved levee, and increased flooding elsewhere." Emphasis added.
“The concern of the City of Sedro-Woolley is exactly what NHC states and should be obvious to all. If the GI Study picks a plan that protects some at the cost of others, it will not be accepted by the community and will indeed be a failure. WalMart and Costco are important, but so is granny. Her house was built 100 years ago in an area that never flooded; the same is not true for the recently developed high value big box stores built in the bull's-eye of the Skagit River Flood Risk.”
See also: 5/22/2014 nhc Memo, RE: Hydraulic Effects of Proposal to Improve Dike District 12 Levee from SR-20 to the BNSF Bridge, 7/10/2014 City of Sedro-Woolley Mayor Mike Anderson Comments, and DD12 Levee Shoreline Substantial Development Permit Issues Page
8/5/2014
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Dike District 1 Comments “The result of rejecting the study and CULI would be to deprive Skagit County, Districts and municipalities of potentially millions of dollars in federal funds, and a system-wide plan of flood risk protection, for all of the residents, cities, and rural and urban areas in Skagit County. This study provides funding for a framework of mutual benefit for many entities in the County, with critical life and safety implications for its constituents. Lack of teamwork, cooperation, and rejection of this plan will only serve to drive away federal funding, federal assistance, and protection that the people of Skagit County need. This provides an inclusive framework for all entities to work together to resolve differences and complaints to achieve a plan that works for everyone.”
8/5/2014
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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 Comments “All of the action alternatives, including the Tentatively Selected Plan/Preferred Alternative, have the potential for significant environmental degradation that could be corrected by project modification or other feasible alternatives.  The Preferred Alternative - as proposed in the draft FR/EIS - has the potential for significant environmental degradation because new levees, additional armoring on the slopes of levees, and ongoing replacement of riprap and vegetation management in the riparian zone would further degrade water quality and habitat in the already channelized and altered lower Skagit River.
“Further degradation is significant because, according to the draft FR/EIS, the Skagit River produces the greatest abundance of salmonids and the greatest number of salmonid stocks in Puget Sound.”
8/5/2014
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Kevy Clevish Comments “I live in the Town of Sedro-Woolley, WA and I think this is a very disrespectful tactic of coming up with a quick fix without doing all the research first; as to see what outcomes would follow.
“How would all the People in my area get compensated for the voluntarily flooding of houses in a area that's never been flooded before? Including mine!
“I like putting money into my community, but what's the point if your going to come along and ruin it?  A dream of mine is to some day sell my house and buy a run down historic home in town and restore it to its former glory and live long term in it... How do you expect me to want to commit to something as labor intensive and expensive, in an area that wasn't in the flood plain but will be if you succeed with your plan, let alone the many other people with similar ideas of improving ones neighborhood? If people are not spending money in their neighborhoods and surrounding community everyone suffers.
“If something like this nonsense goes through I just might move out of this county and support a different one who better takes care of the people supporting it.”
8/5/2014
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Mike Anderson Personal Comments “I live and run a business called Sedro-Woolley Mini-Storage and pride ourselves being one of the few mini storages around that is not on flood prone land. People actually ask us about flooding and we’ve always been able to say we’re good here and Burlington and some in Mount Vernon are in precarious locations. Now with this new Urban Levy Plan, Sedro-Woolley will be at more risk and Burlington will be looking good. That’s not fair. I also owe mortgage on my property, will I be required by the bank to have to get flood insurance now since water will be pushed up to us? That’s not fair, again. Flood insurance costs will affect Sedro-Woolley people’s wallet monthly and real estate values. This is not fair to citizens of Sedro-Woolley. Get rid of the water not push it on someone else.
“Dike District 12 of Burlington area is trying to raise their dikes right now, a smaller precursor to this Urban Levy Plan. From a Northwest Hydraulic Consultant report dated May 22, 2014, NHC project 200177. Page 5, last paragraph: “In summary, the project would eliminate levee overtopping within the project reach during the 100-year flood. A natural consequence of this type of partial levee improvements is decreased flooding behind the improved levee, and increased flooding elsewhere.” – No brainer water backs up more upriver instead of flowing to sea. Get rid of the water, don’t push it back on your neighbors.
“In closing, I know Sedro-Woolley, Clearlake, upriver communities will fight having water pushed back on us. Why not do a project that gets rid of the water? Fund it with a small sales tax on the businesses that built in the flood prone areas like Mount Vernon and Burlington.”
See also: 5/22/2014 nhc Memo, RE: Hydraulic Effects of Proposal to Improve Dike District 12 Levee from SR-20 to the BNSF Bridge, 7/10/2014 City of Sedro-Woolley Mayor Mike Anderson Comments, DD12 Levee Shoreline Substantial Development Permit Issues Page and Plan B (the SkagitRiverHistory.com sales tax for flood control proposal).
8/5/2014
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NOAA Comments “We are concerned that the COE will underestimate their level of impacts and underfund their mitigation requirements. Qualifying statements in the document such as "whenever possible" is ambiguous and can have consequences to our listed species. Considering the estimated $225 million cost for project, and only $3.4M is assigned to mitigation, it does not appear the COE is considering overriding costs such as land acquisition, heavy machinery rental for creating side channels, or any type of habitat improvements other than placing relatively small logs in front of rock walls or willow planting. Similarly, the COE has estimated $28M for real estate acquisition based on land purchases for the levee construction and utility moving. It does not mention any estimates for potential land purchases for levee setbacks. The COE should avoid such statements like "whenever possible", identify how many miles they intend to extend the levee waterward of the levee, or procure enough funding to adequately mitigate project impacts.
“In the Skagit basin, the COE has typically repaired levees and mitigated for their effects later, sometimes several years later. This creates disproportionate adverse effects to aquatic resources because effects occur immediately and persist without offsetting mitigation. Harm to listed species persists when mitigation implementation is delayed. Considering the large amount of harm that is likely to occur from this proposed project, NMFS asks that mitigations occurs before existing levees are raised and new levees are placed.”
8/5/2014
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Roger Pederson Comments “We know the earth is not geomorphologically static, and a aver is a drainage system of/for regional ra'nfall. We also know man must work with nature, and that nature controls man; not vice-versa. Summation: Building higher wider dikes eventuates in backing-up river wa er, which potentially relocates the ocation of a hydrologic aneurysm; i.e. it does not preclude a potential 100-year flood.”
8/5/2014
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U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Comments “Levee setbacks have the unique potential to provide both flood hazard reduction and significant benefits to natural resources. In addition, setbacks would address the root cause of the flooding problem in the lower Skagit River basin: a river that is tightly confined by the existing levee system to a narrow channel.”
8/5/2014
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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Comments “Diking and flood control already have eliminated much of the fish habitat in the lower Skagit River, estuary, and delta through loss of large woody debris, riparian corridors, freshwater wetlands, connection to floodplain and those associated habitats, and the channel migration zone and associated habitat creation such as side channels. Expanding the levee system will further habitat losses. By protecting the floodplain with an additional levee system, USACE may encourage further building and residential development, which will continue to degrade the fish and wildlife habitat around the Skagit River.”
8/5/2014
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Western Washington Agricultural Association Comments “Generally, Skagit delta (including Samish River delta) landowners understand risks of living within the sub-tidal floodplain. However, added responsibility and protection of municipal areas at their expense is unacceptable. If floods come, rural landowners will respond to the need. They come together and support their neighbors, even if not next door. This area has seen floods due to breached and overtopped dikes, and with time the affected areas recovered. However, those were not 100-year floods, and flood waters were not diverted to those areas. The current GI recommendation calls for both, with little in terms of addressing the recovery needs of those most impacted. These rural and agricultural landowners are those same individuals who volunteer as first responders in catastrophic events. Please do not forget their needs, knowledge, and expertise while deciding their fate, only to rely upon them for help when the inevitable comes from the Skagit River.”
8/8/2014
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Gus F. Suryan Comments  
8/8/2014
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Marjean Buske Comments “This plan needs to protect all people living within the Skagit River Basin, not just Burlington and Mt. Vernon and this plan certainly shouldn't protect some while putting others at further jeopardy.”
8/8/2014
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Ron Mattox Comments “Who and how are the people in Sterling and the Nookachamps areas compensated for the additional 12" of flood water?”
8/14/2014
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Alan Burke Comments “We are upset that corporate businesses are being put ahead of our families homes.”
Undated Comments
  Doug Wedin Comments “Serious consideration should focus on floodgates & floodway from Riverbend at Avon to the Swinomish Channel.”
  Eron Berg Personal Comments “Post project modeling must be presented for review before we can provide meaningful project comments.”
  Jean A. Hanson Comments “They need to listen to the old timers soon.  So much money is used to study the river but nothing is accomplished.  This is frustrating to local citizens.  Hope someone reads this!”
See also: Historical Articles Issues Page
  Jim and Rochelle Pittis Comments “We have not been in the flood plain but under this plan, we are at grave risk.  Our beautiful home was built in 1902 & has been on the city's historic Christmas tour.  It has here BEFORE Burlington became a retail center.”
  Julie and Mike Anderson Comments “We need to get the water out of the Skagit River System not back it up.  Please don't save physical businesses over people.  Find a way to get the way out like a by-pass.”
  Mike Stringfield Comments  
  Roger Anderson Comments “I am a long-time resident of Sedro-Woolley, Washington.  I share the concerns of the City of Sedro-Woolley & support Resolution No. 902-14.”
See also: 7/9/2014 A Resolution of the City of Sedro-Woolley, Washington Commenting on the Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Skagit River Flood Risk Management General Investigation
  Todd Olson Comments “I would like to take this moment to state that I protest the facts that my local government was no longer invited to the meetings discussions about flood reduction alternatives including the process for identifying the Tentatively Selected Plan. They are my voted representatives and have the right to speak for the people of Sedro-Woolley.
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Creating this new flood zone will greatly impact our community in a negative way. My property value will drop affecting my resale value at a time in which I am closer to retirement and the fact that my home will be in the new flood zone will effect myself financially by requiring me to now have to purchase flood insurance, an add expense that is not in our budget as well as many other residents that will be affected.
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With property values dropping creating a hardship to a City in which mostly operates from the property taxes is unacceptable. The City in fact will need increase taxes to expand their emergency services to include flood protection. This potential tax increase would again create additional hardship on my family and the community as a whole.”