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Auburn to begin levee patrols, floodwall protection on Green River

The City of Auburn levee patrols will be performing familiarization training of the King County levee system on the Green River within Auburn. The patrols will begin with routine, daytime inspections of levees in small groups in order to become fully aware of current levee conditions prior to an actual high water event.

Patrols will consist of three members – a vehicle driver and two staff members walking behind the floodwall – and will be fully identified with City-issued clothing and identification.

Patrols also may have spotlights in order to inspect levees and floodwall for seepage. Patrols have been instructed to respect homeowner privacy. The Army Corps of Engineers and King County also may be conducting independent levee monitoring and inspection.

If high water conditions develop, city staff and trained volunteers will perform daily inspections and should conditions warrant, around the clock patrols will monitor levees and report any developing problems.

It is important for residents to be aware of any unauthorized activity in and around levees. The floodwalls cannot sustain people climbing on them or vandalism, which can create a breach in the wall during a high water event.

Damage to the levee has the potential for significant consequences in terms of civil liability and criminal prosecution. For that matter, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will review cases involving damage to the levee for prosecution as criminal felonies. Any citizen observing any unusual activity in and around the levees should call the 911 immediately. The City requests everyone’s help in maintaining the levee system’s protective measures and insuring public safety.

For those that live close to the levees, consider the following for safety and assistance to the patrols:

• Avoid allowing pets to roam free along the levee.

• Call the 253-931-4008 or 253-288-3138 to inform the City of any concerns you may have, or if seepage is observed through the levee so patrols can be aware of them for observation. If your concern is of an urgent nature, call 911.

• Observe a safe distance from the floodwall when the river is at flood stage to avoid injury from sudden intrusions of large logs and debris that can launch over the levee and floodwall during flood.

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