Army Corps scrambles to protect town from potential flood waters

Data pix.

LYMAN, Wash. – The wet weather on the way is likely to send multiple rivers into flood stage across Puget Sound, including the Skagit River.

Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began emergency work to protect roads and utilities from potential erosion in the small town of Lyman where it’s happened before.

Friday’s work is meant to keep a roadway and utilities from being destroyed.

“They’re doing their thing, it makes me happy,” said neighbor Danielle Young.

Heavy duty trucks are being used to dump an estimated 9,000 tons of rock, which is planned to be used to build an armored embankment along the Skagit River.

Year after year, the river continues to chew its way farther into the small town of Lyman.

“This used to be a trickle of water and now it’s almost another fork in the river,” said Mayor of Lyman Eddie Hills.

Hills declared an emergency and got help from the feds to protect portions of his town from being swept downstream.

“Once we get this done, I think I’ll breathe a little bit easier,” said Hills. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen the next big flood.”

This part of the county has slowly been eroding after heavy storms swelled the Skagit River.

In 2017, the ground beneath three homes gave way due to flood waters and four years later feels like deja vu for many.

“The challenge is mother nature is unpredictable,” said Jonathan Springer from the U.S Army Corps. of Engineers.

This time engineers plan to build a 200-foot-long or so trench, up to 30-feet deep, and fill it with rock and other material.

Until then, the town of Lyman has to wait to see what this weekend’s storm could bring.

“Because it’s gotten bigger, and the attack on the bank has moved upstream, we’ve got to extend this rock trench,” said Springer.

Crews are scheduled to work through Sunday. The Skagit River could reach moderate flood stage by Saturday.

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