US House committee hears Grays Bay flooding concerns

Army Corps of Engineers will fund restoration for select districts


January 18, 2024

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who represents Wahkiakum County in the US House of Representatives, holds up a 40-year-old letter from the Port of Skamania requesting a land conveyance, during her testimony in support of local priorities in the Water Resources Development Act of 2024.

Last week Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Representative for Washington's Third District, stood before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in Washington D.C., and spoke in support of a study requested by Wahkiakum County Commissioners to address flooding in Rosburg and Grays River.

The study was one of two proposed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October of last year after county commissioners learned of a new program that promises to fully fund 20 small water resource projects for economically disadvantaged communities in the United States.

"I'd like to bring up Wahkiakum County, also an economically disadvantaged area in my district, located on the Columbia River," Gluesenkamp Perez said to the committee.

"It's requesting support from the Army Corps for a study to address flooding problems in Rosburg and Grays River," she continued. "The area regularly experiences flooding. As a result, fine sediment accumulates at the confluence of the rivers of Grays and Columbia and over the past 30 years, the floods have only gotten worse."

"When flooding occurs on the Grays River, it cuts off access to approximately 500 people living in these rural communities, often for more than two days at a time. Within a matter of hours, the flooding limits vital emergency services, business operations, and school transportation and leaves behind sediment that can be dangerous and time consuming to remove," Gluesenkamp Perez added.

"That's why I support the County's request for the Army Corps to assess the causes of the fine sediment accumulation and help determine solutions to mitigate risks for addressing this," she said.


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