Snohomish County to use $10M in funds to mitigate flooding in Sultan, Monroe

Fall marks the beginning of flood season for many communities in the region. Just in time for the rain to fall, two communities in Snohomish County are getting some much-needed help towards mitigating flooding in the future.

The Community Floodplain Solutions Program just received nearly $10 million to advance the flood mitigation program for sites near Sultan and Monroe

Snohomish County says the funding will help to protect farmland and will reduce the impact of flooding on roads, homes and businesses.

"It’s a beautiful view, it’s a beautiful view," said Sally Teeters, a resident of Sultan.

Teeters is no stranger to flooding. She lives near the Skykomish River. She says she saw the worst of it about a decade ago. 

"It was probably three feet of water, and it flooded not just my home, but the whole city," said Teeters.

She blamed it on a misstep by a worker at the dam. 

Meantime, Teeters' neighbor David Turner has his own stories of flooding. He says around 2006, the lower level of his home flooded twice within a few month's time. He raised his home up several feet following that flood to prevent further damage.

It's not just homes that need a boost, it's the roads, too. Neighbors tell us construction is underway on nearby Mann Road to prevent flooding there. 

"You have to be careful, for sure. It doesn’t take a lot of water to move your car," said Mark Zappala.

Zappala says the back roads near Tualco Loop Road can also get particularly bad.

"I’ve seen trucks get stuck in there, and that whole flood plain area can be pretty dicey at times," he said.

A map at shows that more than 500 properties in Sultan have a greater than 26% chance of being severely affected by flooding over the next 30 years. Risk is one reason Snohomish County's Community Floodplain Solutions Program has been working on plan to mitigate flooding.

In the past, the program has worked with willing landowners to acquire properties in flood-prone areas, removed existing development rights to preserve the property for flood risk reduction, and outlined areas for farming, flood risk reduction and habitat restoration. 

A newly announced third grant of $9.9 million from the Washington State Department of Ecology's Floodplains by Design Program will now help the county move forward with Phase 3. It will allow construction to move forward on flood risk reduction projects and habitat restoration for endangered salmon.

Zappala hopes the funding makes a difference.

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"If there are some ways they could help mitigate that flooding, then great," he said.

 In addition to cutting down on flood risk, the county says the program could also create jobs. The county predicts they will need at least 165 new roles to complete the work.