Jones Creek Debris Flow Risk Reduction



The Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District (FCZD) installed two earthen and rock berms to reduce the risk of Jones Creek debris flow hazards to the Community of Acme, WA. Prior work included debris flow studies in 2004 and 2010, a roadway alternatives analysis in 2017, and several community meetings.

Project Benefits

  • Improve public safety
  • Reduce risk to public infrastructure
  • Protect and enhance creek and habitat forming processes 

An aerial photo showing the completed Jones Creek Debris Flow Risk Reduction project.

Project Updates

July 2023 - Construction was completed with final construction costs totaling $2,608,119.32.

January 2023 - The construction contract bid was awarded to Trimaxx Construction for a cost of $3,117,707.36. The preliminary construction schedule identifies work beginning in mid-February and ending in early July, 2023. The schedule is dependent on weather conditions and may extend longer into the summer if we have a wet spring. Initial work will include clearing activities and watermain improvement work along Turkington Road.

December 2022 - Surveyors marked the project limits for the construction bid process. The construction contract bid was advertised on November 30 and will close in late January 2023. 

October 2022 - A public open house was held on October 6. The open house was an opportunity for the community to learn more about this project, project benefits, and projected construction schedule and impacts. Read the open house flier for more details

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Project Description

Two earthen and rock berms were constructed to reduce the risk of Jones Creek debris flow hazards to the Community of Acme. The project design included:

  • An approximately 400-ft long deflection berm located at the apex of the alluvial fan 
  • An approximately 2,500-ft long setback berm that will cross Turkington Rd 
  • Realignment of a portion Turkington Rd and Galbraith Rd (private) to accommodate the berm(s)
  • Relocation of associated utilities


Jones Creek originates on Stewart Mountain and flows across its alluvial fan through the town of Acme before entering the South Fork Nooksack River. The town has been subject to debris flows from Jones Creek throughout its history. Several debris flow studies characterize the hazards and identify protection opportunities. A large event would impact numerous residential properties and farmland, County roads, and the Acme Elementary School. The goal of this project is to reduce risk to life and property associated with Jones Creek debris flows.

Visit our Alluvial Fan Hazard Planning page.

  1. Funding
  2. Project Documents
  • Washington State Department of Ecology Floodplains by Design
  • Flood Control Zone District
  • Whatcom County Road Fund