Howard Hanson Dam Flood Preparedness

Washington State Green River Valley

Situation Overview

As a result of damage to the Howard Hanson Dam, which has protected the Green River Valley since its dedication in 1962, the valley is facing considerable threats of flooding. The threats, which will be highest during the upcoming rainy season from November to April, are primarily focused upstream of the dam. However, the levees downstream of the dam are also old, need repair and it is feared that they will not be able to cope with the increased flows from the dam. Until permanent dam repair is undertaken in three to five years, the U.S. Corps of Engineers expects flooding in the region-from one foot to more than 10 feet in depth. Such flooding will take a toll on power, sewer, water, communications and transportation systems. To mitigate losses and disruption, Integra Telecom has updated its contingency plans in preparation for a worst-case scenario and is encouraging its business customers to do the same.


Integra's Standby Response Plan


Recommendations for Local Businesses

The time to prepare for flooding is now. To protect your business, consider these steps:

  1. Not sure if your business is in the flood zone? If your business is located in the Green River Valley and you aren't sure it is at risk of flooding, check with your city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator, or visit: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/FloodPlan/GreenRiverValley.aspx.
  2. Consult your insurance carrier. If your business is located in the flood plain, obtain flood insurance as soon as possible. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a policy takes effect. New flood plain maps are expected to be approved in October 2009 and may prompt increased insurance rates. Also, consider other insurance your business may need to protect against loss of earnings resulting from lack of workplace access.
  3. Develop a business continuity plan. Include plans for dealing with any critical supplies, materials or equipment kept at ground levels; such items will need to be moved above anticipated flood levels for protection. Be prepared to operate with employees working remotely or from an alternate location should your building be inaccessible.
  4. Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls, etc.). These structures can help stop the flow of floodwaters and prevent damage to your business. If your business is located in a high risk area, you may also want to explore temporary dike systems/sand bagging options.
  5. Create or update an evacuation and emergency plan. Build in specific measures to address flooding, and have appropriate emergency and first-aid supplies on hand.
  6. Work with business and community partners. Even if your business isn't located in the flood plain, your suppliers may be. Be sure you know how to reach key partners and work with community organizations, such as the Red Cross or local chamber of commerce, to learn additional steps that can help your business become flood ready.

Additional information on how to prepare your business for a potential flood is available on FEMA's Web site, at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/howto/index.shtm.

Integra Telecom is actively encouraging its customers to evaluate their own situation and to take precautionary steps to protect their businesses. Integra Telecom is not liable for damages caused by circumstances beyond its control or for lost profits, productivity or consequential damages that its customers experience as a result of service outages.

Questions? Please contact Customer Care.