Flooding is Thurston County’s most common natural hazard. The county has been included in 16 flood related federal disaster declarations since 1953. Enlarge Map
From May through October 2017, Thurston County is updating its Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan update process is an important opportunity for Thurston County government, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to evaluate its flood risks, past and present flood management efforts, assess additional flood management practices, and prioritize appropriate strategies for the county to become more resilient to flooding.
Floods in Thurston County are the most common natural hazard, and on an annual average basis, the costliest. The December 2007 Chehalis River floods closed 44 county roads, affecting nearly 400 households. 267 county residents applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance with property damage claims totaling nearly $6 million. The January 2009 floods caused nearly $3 million in damage to homes.
Between 1953 and 2016, Thurston County received 16 federal disaster declarations involving flooding – that’s half of the total flood-related declarations, statewide! Such events demonstrate that Thurston County needs to address flood hazards on a countywide basis.