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treeswarper
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PostTue Dec 05, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Here is a video about the flood that occurred in 2007.   Our part of the county was cut off by landslides and a little flooding.  The good was that the powers that be made it easy to volunteer for cleanup after the water went down.  They put out a plea on the local radio station and anybody could show up, sign in, and go do good works.  I spent a couple of days in the Boistfort area shoveling mud and other things.  The bad is that the county or city of Chehalis is letting fill be dumped in the flood plain and things such as fast food and coffee businesses build on the fresh fill.  I guess restricting development in the flood plain would be too easy to do so instead we hear about a dam.  Where will the flood go next? 


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Jaberwock
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PostTue Dec 05, 2017 9:22 pm 
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I can't believe they're planning to dam the Chehalis.  The only long-term solution for flooding in this area is to move infrastructure out of the floodplain.  The new dam is just plain foolish.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 6:08 am 
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Jaberwock wrote:
I can't believe they're planning to dam the Chehalis.  The only long-term solution for flooding in this area is to move infrastructure out of the floodplain.  The new dam is just plain foolish.

I think that is just too simple.  Meanwhile, the area around Walmart and Home Depot, where water was up to the top of their doors, is being filled in and more businesses moving in.  When fill is added, that will displace flood water and could flood neighborhoods where "it never flooded before".    Lewis County and Chehalis are only thinking of tax revenue from new businesses.

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Ski
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 1:15 pm 
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I'm baffled.

Where are they going to place a dam on the Chehalis that's going to eliminate flooding in the lower valley? The lower Chehalis valley floods virtually on an annual basis.

One has to wonder if the activity on the privately-owned timber land that makes up most of the Willapa Hills might be a contributing factor to the more recent catastrophic flooding events. Maybe, maybe not.

It seems clear in the here and now is that the blasting of the logjams along the banks of the Chehalis done by the Army Corps of Engineers scores of years ago did not achieve a desired result.

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 2:48 pm 
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You'd have to do a major major study to get that answer and it would be hard to get unbiased results.

The Cispus has had some good floods and it comes from a relatively well forested watershed.  Floods happen, especially when 14 inches of rain falls in a short time.  Our part of the county had some good mud slides.  Some were in logged areas and some were not.  That's why I think a study to figure out blame would be impossible to do--along with the differing soil and forest conditions.  We know it floods and it always has flooded.  I'm happy with knowing that and knowing where not to live.

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Ski
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 3:09 pm 
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^ Not sure, but I think Cispus watershed vs. Chehalis watershed might be apples and oranges.
The Willapa Hills are low-elevation unconsolidated alluvial till - pretty loose stuff in the areas I stomped around on.
You've got more elevation up there on the Cispus, and a lot of rock - the geology in the Willapa Hills is considerably different.

I'm just having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the idea of a flood-control dam on the Chehalis. The watershed is so big - second largest in Washington State, from what I understand - I have to seriously wonder about placement. Where would you put it? Up above Rainbow Falls? What effect does that have on any of the numerous tributaries downstream?
If you go clear up to Boistfort or Pluvius, what's the point?

I think they mentioned in that video it was more like 20 inches of precipitation in a 24-hour period. I just don't see any possible man-made structure anywhere in the Chehalis watershed holding back that amount of runoff. I'm not a hydrologist, though, I could be dead wrong there.

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Jaberwock
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PostWed Dec 06, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I'm just having a hard time getting my head wrapped around the idea of a flood-control dam on the Chehalis. The watershed is so big - second largest in Washington State, from what I understand - I have to seriously wonder about placement. Where would you put it?

Ski.  Yes the dam is idiotic. Absurd that it's even being considered let alone built.

The location is above Pe Ell.  The state is claiming eminent domain on Weyerhaeuser property for the dam and reservoir footprint.  If you look on a USGS map the dam will span the river at "Charlies Hump" on the Chehalis above Pe Ell.  If you know the area, more specifically the dam will be where "Tin Bridge" is.  I don't remember the specifics but I think the dam is like 300 ft high and will create a 7 mile reservoir.  Like to catch salmon on the Chehalis?- Ha ha ha....

It's a shame it's on Weyerhaeuser property since most people aren't familiar with the area which is beautiful despite the logging.

All photos below in area to be flooded by dam reservoir:


If you'd like to learn more about the dam, this 700 page document should do it for you:
http://chehalisbasinstrategy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/FRO-FRFA-Final-Conceptual-Combined-Dam-Fish-Passage-Design-Report_COMPILED.pdf

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Gregory
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PostSat Dec 09, 2017 6:31 am 
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Tear down the dams on the Elwha and build one on the Chehalis.I had forgotten about this.Thought it was too absurd to come to fruition.Politicians and stupid peoples money.Spend millions and millions on saving the salmon/steelhead in the Chehalis.Spend another easy billion on a damn to kill more salmon and then get many more millions to subsidize the tribes for there loss, and on and on and on.What a sad, sad world we live in.

I rode that storm out a couple miles from kalalock lodge.The winds that night were something I will remember the rest of my life.Lost a couple hundred trees behind the house in one gust.That one minute of my life is burned into my brain.We were cut off from the north and the south for a bit.Had to worry about keeping the generators running at the hospital in forks.I lived in the last house on the power lines coming from the north.Lived on a generator for nine days.Had satellite tv and watched Seattleites cry for the government to come save them and beat each other up over gas and who got the power turned on first.Watched people out there share gas with people they otherwise would not talk to..Night and day.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 09, 2017 7:29 am 
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I agree.  We've spent so much money on salmon, a dam just seems foolish.  I guess I am wondering how often will such a flood event hit?  Why not wait and see and try a different approach, like zoning.

If I remember correctly, we didn't get much wind here.  We were just cut off from the rest of the world by mudslides blocking roads.  Our power stayed on.

Don't be too hard on the city people.  They don't have room in those mini apartments to store supplies.  We are lucky here.  There is lots of equipment around and it gets used in our local disasters.

Like I said, our county makes it easy to volunteer.

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Ski
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PostSat Dec 09, 2017 12:02 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
I guess I am wondering how often will such a flood event hit?

Not a clue, and I haven't read the paper Jaberwock cites just above, but something tells me even if weather events like that were a regularly occurring event, a "flood control" dam in that location would have minimal effect downstream, considering the number of tributaries below it and the geographic area of the watershed downstream.

Who thought up this idea?

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Gregory
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PostSun Dec 10, 2017 8:32 am 
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I think that this has more to do with preserving property values in the floodplain than it does protecting anybody.By rezoning, they lose a substantial amount of tax revenue.by building a retention dam they get the money from us to build, maintain, and operate the damn dam and they get they get to keep the tax revenue and probably add some.When the dam does not keep the floodplains dry the people will sue the government, win and the taxpayers pay the settlement.Nothing happens to the officials that are truly responsible for the expensive false hope.
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Gregory
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PostSun Dec 10, 2017 8:48 am 
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If I remember correctly, we didn't get much wind here.  We were just cut off from the rest of the world by mudslides blocking roads.  Our power stayed on.

Treeswarper,
We did! Thought the house was going to blow away and the sound of all those trees coming down all at once surpassed anything I ever experienced crabbing the bearing sea.Raynier owned the property behind me and had logged it just to mine the old growth cedar stumps for the shake.There were three fingers of fletcher creek flowing through it and the required buffers dropped in one gust.Then the only access Ranier had was through my property and they let me have all the road wood.I pulled a couple hundred chords out easy and sold it on the side.


It was the dependence on government and the selfishness that shocked me.I am not saying that everybody in the city is what the rating seeking news outfits decided to edit and air but what they did air was scary.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostTue Dec 12, 2017 6:00 pm 
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A meeting about the Cowlitz River behaving badly above Packwood. 



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