This webpage is to inform readers of video available of consequential Skagit County meetings discussing flood control.
Skagit County Government (Skagit 21) Meetings ( as of May 9, 2012)
Other Videos ( as of April 9, 2013)
|Skagit County Government (Skagit 21) Meetings|
|5/9/2012||Corps of Engineers GI Study Presentation||
Corps of Engineers Presentation on the Skagit GI/General Investigation Study to Skagit County at the May 7, 2012 Open House.
Comments may be submitted by May 24th, 2012 to the Corps.
|9/12/2011||Update: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Relicensing Regarding License Article 107 (c) Imminent Drawdown of Baker River During Flood Events||
“Mr. Berentson stated that he wanted to update the Commissioners
on the conversations that Public Works has had with Puget Sound Energy and the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Mr. Berentson read Article 107(c)
to the Commissioners and stated that one of the main concerns that Public Works
staff had regarding this article was whether Puget Sound Energy (PSE) was
adequately consulting with Skagit County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
regarding their plan for drawing down the Baker River during a flood event.
“Project Coordinator Lorna Ellestad added that Skagit County better understands that each agency’s definition on an emergency is different. Ms. Ellestad ended by stating that Skagit County may want to execute an amendment to the license [to retain the Interim Protection Plan/IPP] until more of the issues have been resolved.”
|9/20/2011||Discussion/Possible Action: Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA)/ National Marine Fisheries Services (NFMS) Biological Opinion (BiOP) Proposal||Skagit County Commissioners adopt new regulations, “to comply with the Endangered Species Act regarding development within a floodplain”.|
|8/2/2011||Work Session: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Relicensing Regarding Imminent Drawdown on the Baker River||
“Mr. Berentson stated that the work session regarding this issue
was necessary because multiple agencies do not feel that imminent drawdown is
being adequately addressed. Mr. Berentson stated that Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
has decided that there is little benefit from imminent drawdown, which is
holding the outflow from the dam before a storm system, in order to lower the
water level in the river so that it can better accommodate the new water from
the storm system. Mr. Berentson commended PSE for their work during the 2003
flood and stated that the dams were managed well.
“Mr. Berentson stated that Skagit County’s objectives for the outcome of the general investigation included: negotiating additional storage and reservoir management operations for flood control in the Upper and Lower Baker and Ross dams and improving off-channel storage, increasing conveyance and eliminating major flood impediment in the multi-bridge corridor including debris management, rehabilitate the levee system downstream of Sedro-Woolley providing flood protection and salmonid habitat, creating emergency flood relief to spill excess water onto the flood plain, if necessary. ”
|8/16/2011||Update: Skagit River General Investigation Reset and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Relicensing Regarding Imminent Drawdown on the Baker River||
“Natural Resources Division Manager Dan Berentson stated
that a path forward would need to be found regarding the General Investigation
Reset. Mr. Berentson discussed the need to complete a feasibility report by
October and evaluate potential flood damage in the Baker water system. Mr.
Berentson discussed the difficulty of finding agency funding for this project,
but that funding would be necessary in order to meet the current milestones and
move forward. Mr. Berentson stated that once this project was completed, then
there would be a long-term solution in place for flood damage in Skagit County.
“Mr. Berentson stated that Public Works is still working with Puget Sound Energy, the Aquatic Resources Group, and the Cities regarding 107c of the Settlement Agreement for Relicensing for imminent drawdown on the Baker River. Mr. Berentson stated that comments have been submitted on PSE’s preliminary draft report. Mr. Berentson stated that there were two main issues which needed to be addressed: 1. How will PSE achieve the target draw down to 140,000 acre feet in the Baker Dam without the Interim Protection Plan? 2. Skagit County, the Cities, and the Dike Districts would like to write a document regarding public safety protocols in order to improve the response and coordination for each municipality and department during a flood event. Mr. Berentson stated that everyone would benefit from knowing what steps each partner would be taking during a flood event. Commissioner Dahlstedt stated that the Interim Protection Plan would not only benefit and protect the citizens of Skagit County, but would be improving the conditions for healthy fish habitat as well.”
|6/21/2011||“As a result of the Biological Opinion, FEMA, through the NFIA had an additional role to protect salmon and orca whales. Mr. Christensen explained that there were 122 communities throughout the Puget Sound who must draft new codes, regulations and rules for development in flood hazard areas. He indicated that the development activities could create no harm, or adverse effects on endangered salmon and whales.”|
Discussion/Update: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Biological Opinion
|As stated in the meeting by Tim DeVries, Building Official and Floodplain Manager, “Development in the floodplain as encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program is causing jeopardy. That it's causing jeopardy to the salmon and their habitat.” Therefore FEMA had to change its regulations to make sure “the salmon are protected.” Skagit County and its local governments are working to adapt to the FEMA regulations.|
|11/2/2010||Randy Good Public Comment||“Randy Good of ... Sedro-Woolley commented on flooding in Skagit County. He stated that property and ten homes were damaged during the January 2009 flood. Mr. Good discussed his disappointment that the Hansen Creek Flood Control Zone. He went on to comment on the fact that the lower segment, known as Reach 5 between Highway 20 and Minkler Road, had been left out of the Alluvial Fan planning process. Mr. Good requested the Commissioners help to protect their property, livelihood, safety, and welfare from imminent flooding threats.”|
|10/19/2010||Work Session: Discussion of Flood Awareness Week (October 18 through 22, 2010), with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||Discussion of flood preparedness by the Corps of Engineers Seattle District and Skagit County Government. Also, “Chair Dillon asked Tim DeVries, Planning and Development Services, to clarify his new position as Floodplain Manager. Mr. DeVries observed that Skagit County has an unusually large flood plain, growing development activity, and new regulations with mapping and biological assessments. It was apparent that Skagit County needed a central source for review of development activities within the flood plain, preservation of habitat, and avoidance of natural hazards. His position will review development in the flood plain, promote good flood plain management practices, and develop a long-term strategy for management.”|
|10/5/2010||Work Session - Snohomish County Presentation of the Sauk River Comprehensive Flood/Erosion Hazard Management Plan||
“Bob Aldrich, Project Coordinator of Snohomish County
Public Works Department, thanked the Commissioners and Skagit County for
contributing to this plan. Mr. Aldrich stated that the
largest hazard posed by Sauk River is not necessarily flooding, but erosion.
The Commissioners were briefed on the history Sauk River flooding and Mr.
Aldrich stated that in 2005 Skagit and Snohomish Counties partnered on an
Ecology FCAAP Grant in which a stakeholder committee was formed. The
stakeholder committee’s goal was to find methods for reducing flood and erosion
damage, restoring salmon runs, and protecting property.”
“Commissioner Dahlstedt stated that mother nature is in charge and rivers go where they want to.”
|8/10/2010||Discussion: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Community Meeting Update||“Gary Christensen, Director, wanted to share with the Board, and interested viewers, the flood insurance rate maps which the Geographic Information Services Department put together using the information recently received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He introduced Tim DeVries, County Building Official, who updated the Board on each of the scheduled community meetings with County, City, and Federal Emergency Management Agency before discussing the flood insurance rate maps. ”|
|7/6/2010||Skagit County Public Works and Planning Briefing of Skagit County Commissioners RE: FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps on Skagit 21||
Skagit County Commissioners and staff discuss the released FEMA Flood Insurance
Rate Maps for the Skagit River from Concrete to the mouth. Items of
discussion include options of appeal and financing to address the Skagit River
See also: June 30, 2010 FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map Packet for Skagit County (65 MB PDF file), & June 15, 2010 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Update - Status of Flood Mapping for Skagit County plus October 29, 2007 Public Meeting - Skagit County Community Update Regarding FEMA Flood Mapping
FEMA and Skagit County Government have a meeting regarding the upcoming
re-release of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps/FIRMs for all of Skagit County.
See also: An Evaluation of Flood Frequency Analyses for the Skagit River, Skagit County, Washington
|Oct. 20||“Dan Berentson, Public Works Natural Resources Division Manager, was present to introduce Kathy Dejardin and Eric Winters from the Seattle District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who presented their current work plan to the Board. Sandbagging demonstrations and communication trials between the County, Dike Districts and local community are on their agenda. The annual high school sand bagging competition and Search and Rescue sandbag training is coming up soon. Mr. Winters stated that Skagit County has the third worst river on the west coast, and the best maintained levy’s in the State of Washington. Their job is to try to prevent and reduce damage to our infrastructure.”|
|May 5||Plaque Presentation by FEMA - National Flood Insurance Program for Community Rating System||“Mr. Carey stated Skagit County has one of the highest ratings in the nation for avoiding property damage due to flooding. FEMA awards point credits towards classification ratings for activities in communities participating over and above standard practice. ... As of October 2008, the County achieved a ’4’ classification, which reduces flood insurance premiums in the 100-year floodplain by a total of 30%.”|
|Jan. 20||Presentation by FEMA Regarding the Status of the FEMA Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives and Possible Effects of the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion on the National Flood Insurance Program||
“Mark Carey, Mitigation Division Director for the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Division 10, presented information regarding
the requirement for FEMA to review actions they undertake to determine whether
they may affect endangered species or their habitats. Mr. Carey also spoke about
the Endangered Species Act and its relationship with the National Flood
“Mr. Carey went on to discuss the possible impacts to Skagit County from the biological opinion recently issued to FEMA by the National Marine Fisheries Service on the National Flood Insurance Program.”
|Aug. 19||Public Comment on Aug. 18 Presentation||During the public comment period Carol Ehlers of West Fidalgo Island, commented on the presentation on August 18, 2008, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the GI study. She observed the members and interest of the crowd, but also made other observations about county governance.|
|Aug. 18||Skagit River Flood Damage Reduction Study - Preliminary Measures Presentation||Corps of Engineers presentation of possible options to reduce the Skagit River Flood Risk. The PDF of the presentation is available HERE.|
|May 19||Appointment of Flood Control Zone District Members and Dissolution of Skagit River Flood Control Committee||Skagit River Flood Control Committee replaced with Flood Control Zone District Steering Committee.|
|May 6||Signature - Resolution Relating to the Removal of the Temporary Emergency Training Levee Extension on Cockreham Island||Skagit County Commissioners plan to remove a training levee from the end of Cockreham Island. Cockreham Island citizens also make public comments.|
|April 8||Public Comment Period||Carol Ehlers raises concerns about the Skagit County Flood Control Zone District (FCZD) including lack of membership from the utilities and refineries, use of acronyms with laymen in FCZD meetings and discussion of how to explain the Skagit River Flood Risk.|
|March 11||Update - Skagit County Community Rating System (CRS) in the FEMA/National Flood Insurance Program||
"Delores McLeod, Community Rating System
Coordinator, said Skagit County has now received a National Flood Insurance
Program, Community Rating System (CRS) Class "4" rating. She stated property
owners will get an additional five percent discount on their flood insurance
which will save the policy holders approximately $700,000 per year.
"Ms. McLeod went on to say approximately 130 property owners whose property is deemed "high risk" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are in jeopardy of losing their CRS discount. Ms. McLeod said the Public Works Department is looking into the issues with the properties."
|Feb. 5||Discussion - Grant Agreement with Department of Ecology Regarding Phase 6 of the Skagit River Comprehensive Floodplain Hazard Management Plan||Skagit County Government discusses update to ongoing GI Study, commissioners attempt to explain that the GI study is "coming to a conclusion with authorization from the Corps to be able to go a after bigger pot of money, federal money, to actually get some projects accomplished."|
|Feb. 12||Discussion - Washington State Department of Transportation Staff Todd Carlson and Tom Stacey to Present the Interstate 5 Conway to Cook Master Plan||At 03:23:50 of the video at the link, Commissioners inquire of WSDOT employees about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) update potentially requiring a raising of I-5 and other impacts.|
|Jan. 22||nhc contracted to start providing technical support to an appeal to FEMA FIRMs.|
|Jan. 22||Discussion/Possible Action - Resolution and Interlocal Agreement with the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation||Agreement to initiate "first phase" of paleo study of The Dalles.|
|Jan. 22||Work Session - Flood Control Zone District Technical Committees||Update to the County Commissioners of the "formation of the technical committees" for the Skagit County Flood Control Zone District (FCZD).|
|Nov. 6||Resolution Defining the Organization of the Countywide Flood Control Zone District||Skagit County Commissioners decide to activate the FCZD using a packet of information.|
|Oct. 2||Proclamation - Flood Awareness Week - October 8-12, 2007, Including Activity Schedule||Skagit County Commissioners proclaim October 8-12, 2007 as Flood Awareness Week with the issuance of Resolution No. R20070486.|
|Oct. 8||Jeff Johnson of Northwest Hydrology Consultants (nhc) Review of FEMA’s Levee Failure Policies and Skagit Valley Flood Elevations||nhc gives a presentation explaining the FEMA FIRM policies.|
|Oct. 8||Resolution to Protect the Community’s Interests with Respect to Flood Risk Mapping by the Federal Emergency Management Agency||Skagit County Commissioners decide to intervene in FEMA FIRM process.|
|Oct. 9||Work Session - Flood Awareness Week Session with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||19 minute briefing by Corps of Engineers staff|
|Oct. 11||Skagit River Feasibility Study Executive Committee Meeting||Representatives of the Corps of Engineers Seattle District, the Congressional delegation's staff, county government and local governments meet regarding the GI study.|
|Oct. 16||Resolution Defining the Skagit County Flood Control Zone District (FCZD) Organization||Skagit County Commissioners debate a draft of a resolution to activate the Skagit County Flood Control Zone District and accept testimony.|
|Oct. 22||Resolution Authorizing Expedited Review of Hamilton Urban Growth Area Proposal||"Establishing an urban growth area outside of the floodway is the essential next step in advancing the broader Hamilton relocation effort. It will enable the Hamilton Public Development Authority to assist in the relocation of Town residents harmed by flood waters, and will allow the Town to fully implement its codes that prohibit redevelopment of flood-damaged properties."|
|Oct. 29||Public Meeting - Skagit County Community Update Regarding FEMA Flood Mapping||Skagit County Government's contracted legal counsel Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates & Ellis leads a public discussion regarding Skagit County Government's appeal of FEMA's proposed new Flood Insurance Rate Map.|
|Sept. 18||Amendment No. 4 to Contract No. 03578 With the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Skagit River Flood Reduction Feasibility Study||Skagit County Commissioners approve increase in Corps of Engineers GI study.|
|Aug. 13||Mark Mastin of USGS Presentation||USGS presents their report of a slight reduction of five peak historical floods to the Skagit County Commissioners. City of Burlington, among others, responds with a statement.|
|Aug. 28||Work Session - Restrictions on Development on Cockreham Island and Other Areas in the ‘Floodway’||Skagit County Public Works explains to the public through Skagit 21 the policy implications and consequences of the floodway designation on building owners.|
|July 24||Discussion - Strategy and Options for Flood Control Planning||Public Works brings forward to the Skagit County Commissioners a draft proposal of the Skagit County Flood Control Zone District (FCZD). A Corps of Engineers project manager says the Corps should support the funding attached to the FCZD to help fund the completion of the Corps' GI study.|
|June 26||Larry Kunzler Presentation to Skagit County Commissioners, Re: Plan B||Video and documentation of alternative Plan B for managing and financing flood control efforts in Skagit County.|
||2013-03-13 TV10 Mount Vernon City Council Video of Mayor Jill Boudreau Accepting FEMA Region X Award||FEMA Region X Administrator Kenneth Murphy says in his presentation, "Flooding is still the #1 disaster actually on the planet Earth. Is the most costly, the most damaging, kills the most people."|
||National Wildlife Federation Video: Help NWF Protect Floodplains for People and Wildlife||An almost 5 minute video about development in Western Washington State floodplains. Burlington's floodplain development is a major subject of the movie.|
|May 1||2012-05-01 Webmaster of SkagitRiverHistory.com Interview w/ Congressman Rick Larsen||Three questions to Congressman Rick Larsen of Washington State's 2nd Congressional District on the Skagit River GI Study, funding for a project and dam storage.|
|Nov. 13||TVW: Oral arguments: Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. Washington State Department of Ecology (Once the DOE sets a minimum flow rule for a river, can it later amend the rule to reduce or impair the flow?)||Arguments in front of the Washington State Supreme Court on water rights.|
|Sept. 27||2011-09-27 Mt. Vernon Mayoralty Forum Question on Floodplain Management||Mount Vernon, WA mayoralty candidates Larry Otos and Jill Boudreau debate floodplain management in the Skagit River Basin for their muincipality.|
|Feb. 28||2011-02-28 Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro-Woolley & LaConner Joint Meeting on FIRM Appeal||
Complete video from TV10 of the "combined meeting with the City Council of the
City of Burlington, City of Sedro-Woolley and Town of LaConner to engage in a
general discussion on the subject of the FEMA flood insurance study and
preliminary flood insurance rate maps" plus the City Council of Mount Vernon The
municipalities have since filed their appeal - and on the
FEMA FIRM Appeals Issues Page are all appeal documents.
See also: 2/28/2011 Minutes from the Special Joint Meeting on the FEMA FIRM Appeal, 7/12/2011 State Auditor's Office Exit Item: OPMA: Special Meeting Minutes
|Oct. 11||Hamilton - Town at the Tipping Point||
Can a "Town at the Tipping Point " survive in the Skagit River floodway? A new
documentary by a local filmmaker shows the love Hamilton, WA. residents feel for
their little town, and the millions they've collected from FEMA after each
See also: Crosscut: Should the town of Hamilton stay in the Skagit floodway?
|Dec. 16||KING 5 News Report on Skagit River FIRMs||“Dec. 16, 2009 clip of SkagitRiverHistory.com publisher Larry Kunzler & City of Burlington Public Works Director Chal Martin on KING 5, re: Skagit River Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) from federal bureaucracy.”|
|Dec. 9||TV10: Clips of Financing Downtown Mount Vernon Floodwall||Dike District 3 makes controversial offer of $1 million to help pay for the Mt. Vernon floodwall, and the City Council approves financial measures to pay for the structure.|
|Nov. 10||TV10: Clips on Downtown Revetment CLOMR Response by Mount Vernon, Washington City Council||Discussion of updates to the Conditional Letter Of Map Revision (CLOMR) for the downtown Mt. Vernon floodwall, receipt of a Washington State Public Works Board grant to help pay for the project as well as additional funding to respond to the CLOMR.|
|Oct. 28||TV10: Mt. Vernon City Council Discussion of FEMA Request for More Info on CLOMR||On Oct. 8, 2009 the hydrologic consultant to the City of Mount Vernon was requested by FEMA to provide "additional data needed to process this CLOMR". Councilman Dale Ragan inquired as to the situation.|
|July 15||TV10: Discussion of FEMA Denial of CLOMR for Downtown Floodwall||91 minutes of discussion by Mount Vernon City Government, Pacific International Engineering & concerned citizens about the recent denial by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the request to issue a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) for the downtown revetment. The denial letter is posted online as is the rebuttal to FEMA letter is online and the presentation in PDF.|
|Feb. 12||TV10: Request for CLOMR for Downtown Floodwall||In the name of providing "a level of flood protection up to and potentially beyond a 100-year flood event - that last goal is a result of the threat flooding poses to investment in the downtown area which greatly limits the ability of mortgage financing and requiring expensive flood insurance to mitigate risk and the increased costs of construction to comply with floodplain management regulations", the City Government of Mount Vernon (Washington) requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) for its downtown floodwall. This CLOMR for the floodwall was recently rejected by FEMA - mostly due to concerns of impacts to other jurisdictions.|
|April 23||TV10: Update on the Flood Insurance Study||
City of Mount Vernon TV10 video hosted on
Vimeo of April 23, 2008 Presentation by City of Burlington Public Works Director
Chal Martin after being introduced by City Government of Mount Vernon Community
and Economic Development Department Director Jana Hanson using historical data
to debate the hydrology used by the Federal Government to assess the Skagit
River Flood Risk. The slides are available in PDF
HERE. Finally, comments and observations were made towards the end of the
presentation by Mt. Vernon Mayor Bud Norris, John Schultz - attorney for Dike
Districts 1 & 12, and also Dike District 17 Commissioner Daryl Hamburg.
See also: City of Burlington Public Works Update - Skagit River Flood Issues
|May 24||May 24, 2007 Town Hall Meeting - FEMA Flood Mapping: How Will It Affect You?||
City of Mount Vernon TV10 video of May 24, 2007 town hall meeting convened by
the Mount Vernon and Burlington Chambers of Commerce regarding FEMA flood
mapping for flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) that set the rate for flood
insurance. Employees from the City of Burlington, City of Mount Vernon, their
independent chambers of commerce, and FEMA as well as county commissioner
candidate Don Gordon, Jeff Hansell of Hansell-Mitzel Homes and Bob Rauch all
spoke at the meeting before a question & answer session at 66:20.
Video, quality titles and credit are by TV10. The first minute stutters, but that's okay.
|Sept. 5||September 5, 2007 Burlington-Mount Vernon Joint City Council Meeting||
Briefing by City Engineer of Burlington Chal Martin on Skagit River hydrology issues, followed by discussion and action to join the Skagit Flood Advisory Conference Team (Skagit FACT). Also a request for the federal government to submit the municipal-generated data from expeditions to The Smith House and work by Pacific International Engineering (PIE, PI Engineering).
As to documents, the Impacts of an Incorrect Hydrologic Analysis for the Skagit River presentation is available, as is the Joint Resolution of the Cities of Burlington and Mount Vernon to use PIE hydrology for FEMA base flood elevation maps plus a Joint Mount Vernon-Burlington letter to US Rep. Rick Larsen, Re: Support for alternative hydrology. Finally, official Mount Vernon minutes are available.
|Oct. 23||TV10: Community Hydrology and Base Flood Maps||City of Mount Vernon TV10 video of an October 23, 2007 Mount Vernon town hall meeting on the proposed revised FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).|