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Flooding in Town Center
Aaron Halverson
Environmental Programs Manager

Phone: 206-957-2836

Flooding in the Lake Forest Park area has been an ongoing issue since the area was developed. The nature of the flooding is flashy with a short duration that is typical of an urban/suburban environment. This type of flooding is caused by increased impervious surfaces (pavement, structures, etc.) that channel the water directly to streams.

In an effort to reduce the severity and occurrence of flooding the City and neighboring jurisdictions have constructed and maintained facilities that either retain the flows or bypass them and enacted development regulations that reduce flows to streams. Unfortunately, these efforts have only reduced the following flooding issues:
  • Overflows from Lyon Creek to McAleer Creek near the Town Center
  • Undersized Town Center culverts
  • Stream channel capacity and fish barriers throughout Lake Forest Park
  • Nuisance flooding

History of Flooding
The Lake Forest Park area has experienced numerous flood events in its history. Notable events are identified below:
  • January 7-13, 1959: Minor flood event documented in local newspapers
  • January 16-24, 1986: Largest documented flood event
  • April 22-29, 1996: Significant flood event
  • December 29, 1996-January 2, 1997: Significant rain on snow flood event, well documented by local and national media
  • December 1-5, 2007: Most recent flood event that caused significant damage to private and public property