Get Ready: La Niña Increases Risk Of Flooding In Washington

Oct 26, 2017

Engineers are preparing for major flooding this year in western Washington. The National Weather Service warns that rain and lowland snow from La Niña could contribute to flooding, especially on the lower White River in South King County. 

Mike Warner is a meteorologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which controls the outflow of dams like the White River's Mud Mountain Dam. He says that while the probability for flooding may be higher, engineers are prepared to mitigate damage downstream just like any year.

"It's this sort of delicate balance between storing too much water in the reservoir versus letting too much out of the reservoir," Warner said. "So we want to try to reduce those impacts. We want to prevent loss of life and we want to minimize property damage. But we can't reduce that flood risk to zero."

Residents living in flood plains can sign up online to receive automatic flood warning texts, emails or phone calls from King County Flood Alert and Pierce County Alert.