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Comprehensive Planning

Flood Control Zone District

Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Planning

A comprehensive approach to flood hazard management planning provides for a better understanding of the river and floodplain system and ensures that flooding problems are not simply transferred to another location within the basin, but are addressed in a comprehensive, basinwide manner.  This approach directs future flood hazard management expenditures in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

Flooding of Nooksack at Guide MeridianThe River and Flood Division works with the Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee (FCZDAC) to identify and characterize flooding problems and provide recommendations for achieving consistent long-term flood hazard reduction strategies.  Some activities typically involved in developing a Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan (CFHMP) include data collection, hydraulic modeling, alternatives analysis, floodplain mapping and meander limit identification.  In addition to the technical components in comprehensive flood planning, extensive coordination with the public and other agencies is required throughout the planning process.  The end result of a successful planning process is a plan which will reduce future flood damages and is supported by both the impacted community and agencies involved in floodplain issues.

Ongoing and recent flood planning efforts include analysis of Swift Creek, Saar Creek, Johnson Creek, Canyon Creek, Jones Creek, Glacier and Gallup Creeks, Sandy Point and Birch Bay.  Since the FCZD was created, the major focus of staffing resources has been on the Lower Nooksack River between Deming and Bellingham Bay, including the Everson-Sumas overflow corridor. The photo above shows the 1995 flood event on the Nooksack River at the Guide Meridian.

In 1999, the county adopted the Lower Nooksack River Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan (CFHMP).  The CFHMP identifies projects, programs, and other recommendations aimed at reducing future flood damages along the Lower Nooksack River.  Detailed hydraulic modeling and coordination with the Nooksack River International Task Force to evaluate the Everson overflow is the first step in implementing the CFHMP and is currently underway.