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Yakima city and county coming up with plans to prevent future flooding

Yakima city and county coming up with plans to prevent future flooding

YAKIMA, Wa. -- The city of Yakima and the county is trying to find ways to prevent future Cowiche Creek flooding.

The city and county are reaching the final stages to the Upper Yakima River Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan or CFHMP.

According to a press release, the CFHMP is a long-range plan in response to the 2016 and 2017 Cowiche Creek flood overflows into the city of Yakima.

Yakima County Water Resource Senior Manager Terry Keenhan says in recent studies the 2016 and 2017 Cowiche Creek flooding shows the risks to residents and property within the city because of the failing and undersized infrastructure in this area.

“The corridor has been narrowed over time and there wasn’t enough capacity for the flows to make its way to the Naches River once you get above a 10-year flood," said Keenhan.

Keenhan says the Cowiche Creek flood overflows caused widespread flooding at Riverside Manor, at and near the intersections of 40th Avenue and Fruitvale Boulevard, at 16th Avenue and River Road and adjacent to Myron, Willow and Aspen Lakes.

“There’s been a fair bit of home damage and there was damage to some of the structures along the way so that’s being reviewed," said Keenhan.

This is why Keenhan says several state and local officials as well as residents have come up with short-term and long-term recommendations to avoid flooding.

Some of the recommendations include replacing Cowiche channel between Powerhouse Road and US-12 with capacity to pass 100-year flood, spillway and drainage improvements for Myron and Willow dams and much more.

“The plan not only looks at the plans that can be put in place but it also looks at the construction or infrastructure that looks at responses that can be done in short term before those things are in place," said Keenhan.

Keenhan says a joint study session between the Yakima City Council and the Board of County Commissioners to consider the draft plan will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks.

Joint city and county public hearings to consider the adoption will follow later in the year.

For more information on the recommendations draft click here.

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