Here in the Seattle area, there is a highly developed industrial, office and residential area called Kent Valley. As the name suggests, it is in a low-lying area that includes the Green River. And a flood plain, protected by the Hansen Dam, an old, old earthen dam that is in danger of breaching in the anticipated heavy winter rains.
Here is a KOMO TV (ABC-Seattle) story on the berms.
The Army Corp of Engineers said to prevent a breach and a catastrophic flooding, it may be forced to release waters into Kent Valley. (In one area of a suburb called Auburn, the main street could be 20 ft. deep even with a controlled release.)
A “flood emergency” has been declared by King County. Businesses, industries, residences, apartments and basically everyone who can have been constructing berms and sand-bagging. Boeing, with several facilities in Kent Valley (including the aforementioned Auburn), is building an eight foot berm around its facility. Naturally there are many questions from employees.
Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions at Boeing’s Kent Space Center regarding the Hansen Dam flood plans….
Q: Do you get to park your car inside the Boeing Berm, or do you get to watch your car wash down river from the comfort of your bermed in office complex.
A: No. Any open spaces will be made available to management to store their RVs, boats, second vehicles, and motorcycles from the floodwaters
Q: Will Boeing then offer water taxi service between the Boeing Island and the main land?
A: Depends. If the main land is toward Seattle or St. Louis , then yes. If it’s toward Tacoma/Olympia and SoCal, no; however, the Emerald Queen Floating Casino will come by periodically to pick up players during off hours.
Q: Instead of getting laid off will you now be voted off the Boeing Island?
A: Yes, but only on the basis of how bad you smell after one week with no running water.
Q: Will you be able to fish from the Boeing Berm?
A: No – fishing represents a violation of the union contract, and a conflict of interest with our Government customers. There will also be no stone throwing, no ‘rescue me’ signs, and no suicide attempts without management authorization.
Q: After the rest of the world is washed out into the ocean will it be the responsibility of the Boeing people who are safe inside the berm to re-populating the world?
A: No, since we have no women of child-bearing age inside the Boeing berm.
Q: Will there be a reality TV show based on living in the Boeing Berm?
A: Yes! It will be called McNerney’s Island , and will feature the madcap adventures of aerospace engineers trying to survive in their office cubicles with no heat. Think of “Dilbert” with loincloths.
Q: How will it be determined if a person is “berm-worthy”?
A: A person is considered berm-worthy if they can paddle a makeshift raft solo from Kent to Rainier Avenue to bring back KFC or Ezekiel’s fried chicken. McDonald’s McNuggets DO NOT QUALIFY!!