News

Low spots are weathering the rain

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Heavy rains have brought a few concerns to two spots in Federal Way, but overall, the virtually non-stop rainfall has presented little more than a miserable nuisance to city officials and residents.

Paul Bucich, the city’s surface-water manager, said rain runoff has been over South 373rd Street in Spring Valley for more than a week now, but his staff is monitoring it.

A creek restoration project is in the works to restore the wetland and stream areas along that part of West Hylebos Creek and to install a new bridge on South 373rd to eliminate flooding across the road. Design, right-of-way acquisition and permit processes for the project is expected to be finished in June, and construction is expected to begin in late August or September.

In addition, surface-water crews are keeping an eye on Mirror Lake and Fishers Bog, which are connected by a channel. During heavy rain, water typically flows from one into the other, but the water levels are so high, they’re acting like one body of water, Bucich reported.

Water “is over bulkheads and over yards” near the lake and bog, he said, but he noted heavy rain historically has led to that occurrence.

Since Jan. 5, about 5.6 inches of rain has fallen in the city, Bucich said, with almost 1.5 inches falling Jan. 10 and about 1.2 inches Jan. 9.

Bucich said the rainfall is different this year than it was last year because it’s been so continuous the past several weeks.

There hasn’t been a “big event, but a series of continuous rain days,” he said. “It doesn’t give some of the (drainage) systems time to regain their capacity.”

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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