Flood Authority Approves Over $1 Million for Projects


The Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority awarded funds to several local projects last week after $1.5 million was made available for additional small projects.

Ron Averill, with the Flood Authority, told the Centralia City Council on Tuesday night that all of the projects selected have been approved and will be funded. 

The authority awarded $200,000 for the phase two design of China Creek, a two-part project to reduce flooding in the area. 

Phase two focuses on the Agnew Ponds area that was donated to the city in 2013. The project will allow the ponds to hold a much larger amount of water that may store enough to reduce the impact of a 100-year flood event.

“I’m excited about the China Creek project. Not only is it through my district but my business and my house is basically on China Creek,” councilor Max Vogt said at the meeting.

Phase one of the project focused on land along Little Hanaford Road the city purchased in 2004. The goal is to redirect China Creek to meander through a debris-laden channel in the 25-acre field and through two large pools located along the road. 

The pools aimed to fill during heavy rains to slow flows long enough to allow runoff water from downtown Centralia to work through the creek. 

Other local projects included $80,000 for the purchase of a stormwater backup pump at the Chehalis Airport, $110,000 for a culvert study on the Chehalis Dellenbaugh Creek and $55,000 for relief analysis of Oakville and the Washington State Department of Transportation, focusing on flood-prone areas along U.S. Highway 12. 

Projects which focused on the basin as a whole include $75,000 for a basinwide erosion study, and $75,000 for a basin wide home flood proofing study.

Along with the local projects, money was awarded for fish monitoring on the Cosmopolis Mill Creek Dam, and for the restoration design of Aberdeen’s Fry Creek.

In all, 16 projects were submitted for the funds asking for a total of $4,696,800, a number well above the amount available. Many of the projects did not meet the requirements of the project committee, Averill said. 

The funds became available after two Aberdeen projects were “grossly underestimated,” Averill said. Since the authority had to go back to the drawing board on the projects, funds were made available to spend in the current biennium. 

In all, the approved projects were allotted $1,095,000.