Saturday, January 23, 2016

Skokomish River - Washington State Flood Champion

The National Weather Service has color coded warnings on their map. A routine winter warning for western Washington is a bright green flood warning is southwest of the elbow in Hood Canal. The flood warnings apply to the lower end of the Skokomish River. 

I had a wet day in the field on Thursday near the Skokomish.

Mid day liquid sunshine slogging through clearcut to site visit

The weather broke Friday morning and I had nice views of the fairly typical flooding on the Skokomish under brighter circumstances than the day before.

Flooded fields

This guy opened is door so he could make sure he was staying on the road as drove a flooded section.
There are plenty of warnings about not doing this.
However, this road goes under water so often, maybe the locals are expert.

River is to the far right.
Logs that wash onto fields are drug and piled on the fields edge.

The presence of development within this frequently flooded area suggests that the flooding has been increasing over the years. Some casual effects have been suggested for the increase frequency of flooding: excess sediment in the river from past logging practices, a dam on the river that has reduced the capacity of the the river to routinely move sediment and tectonic uplift of the delta area reducing the gradient of the river. Some reduction of flooding has been accomplished by removal of dikes downstream of the flooding area and by the construction of a elevated bridge over part of the flood plain.   

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