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Historical Quote of the Month

Table of Contents

2012

Previous years:

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SEPTEMBER 2012NEW

Question: If the southerly route for Highway 20 were chosen, opportunity would exist for joint development of levee and highway (St. Dept. of Transportation).

Corps response: The road and levee could be combined into one project. However if that project us a continuous fill and prevented overflow to the Samish valley, it would raise the water surface about 4 to 5 feet higher than under existing conditions.

(Source: Corps of Engineers Draft 1979 Skagit River Levee Improvement Public Brochure.)

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AUGUST 2012

We now feel we could support an alternative that will give Skagit County better flood protection but people and property must not be left with a worse flood situation than prior to the project

(Source: Skagit Soil Conservation District comment letter on Corps DEIS for 1979 Levee Improvement Project dated June 27, 1979.)

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JULY 2012

Mr. Hansen said that, in the past, downtown Burlington had usually not been flooded. . .  We discussed what would happen under existing conditions, and both agreed that the danger to Burlington comes from the existing dike being encircled by a flood which would then get into Gages Slough and flow through the city of Burlington and then toward Avon or Samish Bay.

(Source: August 22, 1978 - Corps MFR Re: Skagit River Levee and Channel Improvement Project - Meetings With Local Officials [About Flood Risk to Burlington & Sedro-Woolley])

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JUNE 2012

When a state sacrifices some for others, causes anguish or does harm to even one human being (particularly when there ARE other alternatives), it's an offence which should not be taken lightly by anyone. Surely this isn't the American way. We need your recommendation that this levee project, the way it is set up now should be dropped.

(Source: Barbara McNair, Clear Lake Resident, Letter to Corps of Engineers, April 26, 1979 - page two of May 14, 1979 Corps ltr to Barbara McNair)

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Construction of dikes and raising dikes makes for a greater catastrophe when they break. Dikes give people a false sense of security. Marshland and French Creek dikes on the Snohomish River in December, 1975 are an example. Upstream storage is an alternative that is acceptable to us.

(Source: 4/10/1978 C. F. Intlekofer, Director, Engineering, Ltr to Corps fm BNRR re why they were opposed to flood project)

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Arnold Hansen:We can't do anything. Our hands are completely off of it. If we form a flood control zone district it gives us some power to start doing something with our own problem locally. Up to now it has always been the Corps of Engineers or somebody distant from us who has wasted our taxpayers money doing all these studies. We are trying to correct this. If we don't make some chances we will be powerless to do anything about this.

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John Mitchem:The Advisory Committee is not in favor of the wild river. I am suggesting this is a tool to fight the establishment of the wild river.  

Denny LeGro:Yes. It gives a group at the county level, who has greater power and weight, to discuss this matter. You will have delegated some responsibility to people who have the power to discuss this with the 19-member task force. The Advisory Committee was set up to handle all water resources.

(Source: 9/1/1970 Skagit County Commissioner Public Hearing Transcript RE: Formation of Flood Control Zone)

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The interest of the Skagit System Cooperative is to maintain natural production of salmonids in the Skagit basin at least at the present levels. In fact, some populations are gradually increasing.

(Source: January 31, 1979 Skagit System Cooperative ltr to Corps re Levee Impacts on the Fishery Resource)

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Article 36 requires the licensee to provide 120,000 acre-feet of flood control storage during the period 1 October to 15 March. Article 36 includes, by reference, "Details of Regulation for Use of Storage Allocated for Flood Control in Ross Reservoir, Skagit River, Washington," revised 25 May 1967. This reference states that "In the event that the high dam is constructed at Ross (1725-foot pool) or any appreciable change in the economic development of the valley takes place which would necessitate a lower control flow at Concrete, a maximum of 180,000 acre-feet of flood control storage may be required.

(Source: January 15, 1979 Corps Seattle District ltr to Division Engineer in Portland re City of Seattle's application for a new major license for Skagit River Project)

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Building a levee is initially an economic decision. A levee may not always eliminate the misery, it may only delay it until that point of time when nature's forces exceed man's willingness to invest in greater risk protection.

(Source: January 20, 2012 FEMA Levee Approach for Public Review Online Forum Presentation)

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