• Skagit County passes emergency declaration on flooding in the Nookachamps/Clear Lake Community.

    September 15, 2020
    Today, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners passed resolution #R20200164, “Emergency Declaration For Flooding” in the Nookachamps and Turner Creek Watersheds. You can view the full resolution here. This resolution was passed in support of Drainage District 21, who is seeking a permit with the Army Corps of Engineers to complete necessary work to prevent critical flooding this year.

    “Blockage of drainage in Turner Creek and the Nookachamps has resulted in significant damage and loss of private property each flooding season,” said Public Works Director Dan Berentson. “This is an important recognition of the fact that while the watershed isn’t flooding today, it will be very soon and we should treat it as an emergency now before it’s too late.”

    “As a drainage district Commissioner myself, I know how difficult it can be to work within the regulatory frameworks to protect property and farmland,” said Chair Ron Wesen. “We support Drainage District 21 in the work they want to do, and want to make it clear that it needs to be done today- not in a month and not in a year. Today.”

    The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is tasked with regulating waters of the United States. ACOE derives its statutory authority from the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, the Clean Water Act and the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act. Any agency or individual wishing to do work in waterways in the U.S. must seek approval for that work from ACOE and its partner agencies.

    This emergency declaration and the permit application made by Drainage District 21 was supported by the Skagit County Sheriff’s office, Skagit County Emergency Medical Services, Clear Lake Fire District #4, Sedro Woolley School District transportation and Facilities Department, City of Sedro Woolley Fire Department, and countless Skagit residents. Drainage District 21 is ready to start work as soon as the final permits are issued.  

    “We are of course sympathetic. The Army Corps of Engineers and its partner agencies are chronically underfunded and understaffed,” said Commissioner Ken Dahlstedt, “but property and livelihoods are at stake here. Action needs to be taken.”

    If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Public Works Director Dan Berentson at 360-416-1444.

    County Commissioners: Lisa Janicki, Ken Dahlstedt, Ron Wesen
    1800 Continental Place, Suite 100
    Mount Vernon, WA 98273

    (360) 416-1300  |  commissioners@co.skagit.wa.us