Whatcom County has been working with numerous partners to respond to the devastating November 2021 Nooksack River floods and take action to prepare for future floods.
One way to reduce flood risks is to work with willing landowners in high-risk areas to either buy their property or elevate their homes. We are working with the flood-impacted cities and have applied for over $30 million in FEMA funding through three different Hazard Mitigation Grant Program grants. This program will purchase properties in the areas with the most severe damage and that are in future potential floodways. Properties in adjacent areas will be suitable for elevation. In late winter and early spring 2022, we sent letters to 727 property owners in the areas where the most damage occurred during last winter’s flooding and received 90 responses. We are currently working through the grant process.
The Whatcom Long Term Recovery Group (WLTRG), in collaboration with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office Division of Emergency Management, is working to provide coordination and recovery services to individuals, families, businesses and communities that were adversely affected by November 2021 floods. Visit our Flood Recovery Information page for more information.
We worked with partners to complete many emergency short-term repairs to levees damaged during the November 2021 floods. Additional longer-term repairs are underway in 2022 and 2023.
We completed many emergency repairs these roads damaged by the November 2021 floods.
As a result of the catastrophic November 2021 flooding, a new priority for flood hazard reduction was identified for the area upstream of Everson where water overflows the Nooksack River and flows north to Sumas, Abbotsford, and the Fraser River. A new planning team is working to evaluate flows and identify possible solutions. For more information, visit our FLIP Team Meetings page.
We continue to build capital projects that reduce flood hazards from the Nooksack River and other high flood risk areas. For more information visit our River and Flood Projects page.
The Governor’s office is working with the premier of British Columbia on a Nooksack River International Initiative, with details expected later this summer. The State Department of Ecology is supporting the Governor’s Office’s work on this initiative. The purpose of this work is to improve flood prevention and response across both sides of the border.