Tillamook Basin Flooding Reduction

Oregon Solutions was asked to bring together federal, state, and local government agencies with community leaders to agree on the best strategies to mitigate flood events in the Tillamook basin. The team evaluated and prioritized projects that will diminish severe flooding and alleviate flooding damage. New partnerships were formed to expedite the projects and leverage funding.

Problem

Five rivers converge in Tillamook County as they meander from the coast range to the sea. This area of convergence, known as the Tillamook Drainage Basin, suffers from severe flooding. Flood events in the area wreak havoc on local communities, the economy, and the watershed ecosystem.

Solution

Develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and the adverse impacts of flooding while incorporating environmental, social, and economic values in the development of short- and long-term solutions. Through collaborative effort, design and construct a safe passage for floodwater from the Wilson River to the Tillamook Bay.

Objectives

  • Bring the public and civic sector together to agree on strategies to reduce flooding
  • Design a plan to more efficiently move water from the Wilson River to Tillamook Bay
  • Complete a series of short-term projects
  • Explore additional state, federal, and grant funding opportunities
  • Present a work plan to Congress through the Oregon Congressional delegation
  • Support watershed protection and restoration efforts by citizens and groups
  • Ensure that mitigation projects maintain or enhance the ecosystem
  • Discuss with the community how to strengthen the economy through flood mitigation
  • Apply consistent project criteria to evaluate mitigation projects
  • Create a template and process to address flooding in other coastal basins

Results

  • $1 million from the 2007 State legislature for mitigation projects
  • Evaluated and designated nine high-priority projects (link to document)
  • Completed two spillways: Wilson/Trask and Tone Road Gated
  • Removed the cumbersome Dean dirt pile from the floodplain
  • Updated City of Tillamook flood management plan
  • Gained state and federal agreement on gravel extraction from Wilson River
  • Ongoing design and construction of Project Exodus, a path for the flow of floodwater from the Wilson River to Tillamook Bay, that involves land re-contouring and ecosystem restoration
  • Planned recreational open space in floodplain areas

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