Press Releases

U.S. House Approves Herrera Beutler Effort to Protect Homes, Businesses from Flooding in Cowlitz County

U.S. House approves FY22 Appropriations bill, includes over $900,000 for sediment monitoring of the Cowlitz River

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today she secured $918,000 in federal funds to conduct sediment monitoring of the Lower Cowlitz River to help protect Cowlitz County residents’ homes, businesses, and the surrounding communities from potentially devastating floods.

This critical funding will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform operations and maintenance work, as well as collect information on Lower Cowlitz River water levels. It will also allow accurate monitoring of the sediment retention structure’s ability to protect Cowlitz County residents from potentially devastating floods. The sediment buildup comes from volcanic sediment in the river from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

As a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Herrera Beutler worked with the county to support its request last year and helped secure the funds in the FY22 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which was included in the funding package approved by the full U.S. House of Representatives this week. The package is expected to receive Senate consideration in the coming days.

“Just days ago, I stood on the bank of the Cowlitz River and met with residents who shared concerns that a potentially devastating flood could wash away their nearby homes. I’ve heard these same sentiments echoed by countless folks in Cowlitz County, which is why it’s so important the federal government lives up to its responsibility to mitigate the risk of flooding caused by the buildup of sediment in the river. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I’m pleased to have done my part in the U.S. House to successfully secure this community-supported funding and help protect against flooding that poses a great risk to families, homes, and businesses here in Cowlitz County,” Herrera Beutler said.

“I am thrilled to see Congress approve this crucial funding so that the Army Corps of Engineers can complete annual monitoring for Mt. St. Helens sediment moving through the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers. As local residents know, increasing sand bars throughout this system has raised concerns that flood protection isn’t being adequately maintained. This has become especially concerning in recent years given that the Corps has not been consistently conducting their annual monitoring work. Once again, our Congressional delegation has come through and shown themselves to be champions for Cowlitz County communities. I want to thank Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell and their staffs for all their efforts to ensure Mt. St. Helens sediment monitoring is completed on a regular basis,” Cowlitz County Commissioner Dennis Weber said.