Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District

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About the District

We work to protect basin communities from major flood damage.

What are the District’s goals?

The Chehalis River Basin Flood Control Zone District (the “District”) works to make the basin a safer place for communities impacted by flooding. The District’s goals are to:

  • Reduce the risk associated with flooding and preserve life
  • Prevent damage to property
  • Protect, preserve, and conserve natural resources

The District is sponsoring a major flood mitigation project that the Governor’s Work Group recommended as part of the Chehalis River Basin Strategy. The recommended project would achieve flood damage reduction through implementation of a flood retention facility and raising the airport levee. Learn more about the District’s flood protection project.

Who are the District’s partners?

The organizations below are a few of the key partners we work with to accomplish our goals.

Office of the Chehalis Basin

In 2016 the Washington Legislature created a new Office of Chehalis Basin, which started operating within the Department of Ecology on July 1, 2017. The office was created in an effort to pursue implementation of an integrated strategy for long-term flood damage reduction and aquatic species restoration in the Chehalis River Basin. This group is spearheading the Chehalis Basin Strategy.

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Chehalis Basin Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee

A committee of 11 Chehalis Basin residents was formed in July 2017 to advise the District Board of Supervisors on items that will affect the interests and future of residents in the Chehalis Basin. The committee provides non-binding advice to the Board of Supervisors on questions addressed to it by the District Board of Supervisors or the District Administrator.

Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority

The Flood Authority was created in 2008 and is a cooperative organization consisting of Lewis, Grays Harbor, and Thurston Counties; the cities of Centralia, Chehalis, Aberdeen, Montesano; and the towns of Pe Ell and Bucoda; and the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. The flood authority has many functions, including managing local flood control projects, implementing a river gage strategy, emergency flood warning system, and community outreach and education.

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United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)

USACE is responsible for evaluating permit applications for projects, such as the Water Retention Facility, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). They are in the role of reviewer, and as a result, they are not a proponent or opponent of any project.

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Washington State Department of Ecology (WADOE)

WADOE has prepared a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to evaluate alternatives to reduce flood damage and improve aquatic species habitat. One of the alternatives considered in the EIS is a flood retention facility. WADOE will continue to be the lead agency in preparing the Project EIS for the proposed flood retention facility, which is the next step in the permitting process.

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DISTRICT SUPERVISORS

  • Sean D. Swope, Chair
  • Lindsey R. Pollock, DVM, Vice Chair
  • F. Lee Grose, Member

ADMINISTRATION

  • Erik Martin, District Administrator
  • Lara McRea, Interim Clerk
  • Matt Dillin, P.E., Project Manager

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

  • John Henricksen, Chair
  • Bill Brumsickle, Vice Chair
  • Daniel Maughan
  • David Muller
  • Jason Humphrey
  • Charles Coddington
  • Frank Corbin
  • David Fenn
  • Steven Grega

How was the District formed?

In reaction to the devastating floods of 2007 and 2009, the Board of Lewis County Commissioners formed the District in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 86.15. However, the District has existed for many years in some capacity. Past actions have included creation of planning and guidance documents that have help shape floodplain and stormwater regulations in Lewis County.

Timeline of Events

May 7, 1973

The Board of County Commissioners of Lewis County (the “Board”) adopted a resolution declaring its intention to form a county-wide flood control zone district in Lewis County. After public hearing the flood control zone district was formally formed on April 1, 1974.

March 31, 1997

The Board adopted a resolution that formed and incorporated a county-wide flood control zone in the County (1997 Zone).

May 5, 1997

The Board adopted a resolution that formed subzones within the 1997 zone for the Cowlitz River Basin (the "Cowlitz Subzone") and the Chehalis River Basin (the "Chehalis Subzone") and dissolved all flood control zone districts created prior to March 31, 1997.

January 24, 2011

The Board declared its intention to abolish all county-wide zone districts in the County, including all subzones created thereunder, and declared its intention to form a flood control zone for the Chehalis River Basin.

February 14, 2011

The Board adopted a resolution creating the Chehalis River Basin Flood Control District as it is today.

Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan (CFHMP)

The CFHMP provides an overall strategy of programs, projects, and measures aimed at reducing the adverse impacts of flood hazards on the community. The plan will coordinate and support the activities of the Office of the Chehalis Basin, and provide guidance for FCZD projects and activities within Lewis County.

View updates to this plan here.