I live in Thurston County’s Nisqually Valley and have a couple downstream observations about recent Western Washington flooding.
First, flooding in the valley was a non-issue this time around. Tacoma Power’s management of the Alder Lake Reservoir was outstanding in this recent storm. Before the storm hit on Dec. 11, Alder Lake Reservoir had been lowered to 18 feet below capacity. It continued to be lowered as the storm hit and early on afterwards.
The Nisqually River in the lower valley did not get above 4 feet below the top of the bank. As of Monday morning, after the storm, the reservoir level was still 15 feet below capacity.
This effort was an outstanding example of flood management, and Tacoma Power should be congratulated for putting safety first.