Whatcom County Public Works River and Flood Division is working on these bank protection and levee repairs projects in 2023.
The Marine Drive Levee suffered minor damage from the 2020 Superbowl Flood. Whatcom County Public Works River and Flood Division was in the process of repairing that damage when the November 2021 flooding caused extensive scouring and a major breach of the levee. The major breach was repaired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in December 2021. The Flood Control Zone District (FCZD) immediately began preparatory work to implement repairs for a total of three damaged areas. Unfortunately, permanent repairs could not be conducted in 2022 due to our inability to procure the necessary materials as a result of supply chain issues. However, we were able to implement temporary repairs in Summer 2022 to provide some additional level of protection for the 2022-23 flood season. Additional damage to the Marine Drive Levee occurred during the ice and flood event of December 2022, resulting in another breach of the levee. This breach was also repaired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in January 2023. An emergency project to implement permanent repairs to the damages suffered during the 2020, 2021, and 2022 flood events is underway and is anticipated to be completed in 2023. A long-term strategy for this portion of the river is being evaluated as part of the Floodplain Integrated Planning (FLIP) process.
Existing riprap protecting the Nooksack River bank upstream of Everson near the TransMountain pipeline crossing is damaged and requires stabilization measures. Design and permitting work is being fast-tracked. Construction will occur in 2023. The proposed improvements will incorporate habitat features.
The left (west) abutment of the Glacier Creek bridge is currently protected by a levee built in 1962 after a damaging flood. The levee has two primary functions: preventing a major channel avulsion toward the narrower Gallup Creek bridge crossing and protecting the left abutment of the Glacier Creek bridge from erosion. The levee has been repaired occasionally over the last half century. ln November 2018, an approximately 100-foot long portion of the levee was partially eroded during a flood. The eroded portion expanded to approximately 170 feet as a result of further damage sustained during the February 2020 and November 2021 floods. Construction to repair the damaged levee was completed in August 2023. This work was done in addition to the larger-scale Glacier-Gallup Creeks Alluvial Fan Restoration Project currently being designed.