The Pierce County rivers we see and enjoy today looked very different more than a century ago when small farms dotted the valleys and timber, not technology, was a major industry of the Puget Sound. The Puyallup, White, Carbon and Nisqually rivers were important resources to the communities that grew along them. But the rivers were also hazards due to frequently shifting channels covering fields and communities with water.


On November 14, a large flood caused a debris jam to form forcing the White River to alter its course into the Stuck River.


A legal settlement between King County and Pierce County was the start of several projects dedicated to the straightening of the lower Puyallup and White rivers over several decades. Levees and revetments were built during this time, and many still exist today.


Construction of levees and revetments along the lower Puyallup and White rivers are constructed to contain flood flows.


Floodwaters overtopped portions of the new levees and revetments during the largest flood on record in Pierce County.


The US Army Corps of Engineers finished Mud Mountain Dam to regulate flow of the White River into the Puyallup River.


More levees and revetments were constructed and portions of the Carbon and mid–upper Puyallup rivers were straightened in an attempt to flush sediment and gravels quickly through the river system.


Major flooding has led to fifteen presidentially declared disasters in Pierce County.


First Puyallup River Basin Comprehensive Flood Control Plan adopted.


Major floods during the decade resulted in five presidential declarations and confirmed the need to change the philosophy and practices for managing Pierce County's rivers.


Two presidential declarations and two major flood events. Pierce County moved away from limiting the rivers’ movements with levees and revetments and began allowing the rivers, where possible, to return to historical channels.


The Pierce County Flood Control Zone District is created by the County Council to focus on flood management needs and projects.


The Pierce County Rivers Flood Hazard Management Plan is adopted.

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Phone: (253) 798-2725
Fax: (253) 798-7709
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Mailing Address:
2702 S 42nd St, Ste 201
Tacoma, WA 98409-7322