City’s Proactive Approach Minimized Flooding

Though there was some minor flooding in MLT, especially around Lake Ballinger, the City of MLT says they were prepared and took steps to minimize potential issues. The City of MLT recently recapped their response:

The heavy rains our region experienced last weekend brought about 2.75 inches of rain between Saturday at 5:00 PM and mid-day Sunday. This was the 4th highest rain fall total for a 24 hour period since the City began keeping records in 1986.

Our Public Works Department responded beginning at 4:30 AM on Sunday and continued on the job through 5:00 PM to address localized flooding in our community. Stormwater conveyance systems throughout the City were at times overwhelmed resulting in backups, standing water and minor flooding of structures. The Public Works Department provided assistance wherever possible through the deployment of pumps and sandbags.

The level of Lake Ballinger leveled off at approximately 280.05 feet. This is 0.5 feet below the December 2007 level, but still is the fifth highest lake level recorded since 1981. Ballinger Lake Golf Course has water covering majority of course while the water that had been covering the Ballinger Boat and Fishing Access has receded and the dock is now visible. The Cedar Way Dam was at normal overflow and ESCA was notified per our Emergency Action Plan.

By late Sunday afternoon, following a substantial break in the weather, flows and flooding had peaked and roads were reopened to normal traffic.

Response by our Public Works Department included:

  • Closing streets with water over the roadway;
    • 220th St SW @ 70th Ave W;
    • 216th St SW @ W of 66th Ave W;
  • Responding to alarms at sewer lift stations impacted by high flows;
  • Staging and placement of sandbags at locations adjacent to Hall Creek;
  • Monitoring conditions at detention and flood control facilities;
  • Providing assistance to residents experiencing flooding;
  • Reopening all roadways to traffic as flooding began to recede on Sunday afternoon;
  • Monitoring conditions at detention and flood control facilities; and
  • Inspecting storm water system.

The fact that we do not have much more localized flooding is a tribute to, for example, the proactive approach of our street sweeping operations earlier this fall and again last week coupled with the many storm water improvements the City has initiated and completed over the years. The Public Works Department prepares for this type of event through an aggressive program of street sweeping and catch basin cleaning which aims to keep vegetation and other debris out of the storm system and creeks. Other preparation include the staging of sand bags on 230th St SW near the crossing of Hall Creek and regular inspection of natural drainage courses monitoring for manmade and or natural obstructions. Residents also helped by making sure that catch basin tops near their property remain free and clear of debris.

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