Planned flood reduction project planning underway for Ellensburg


Photo courtesy of Central Transit

Omar Benitez, Staff Reporter

The Middle Reach Reecer Creek flood reduction project began the last phase of construction on Oct. 17. The project’s aim is to reduce the impacts of flooding on the Reecer and Currier creeks and the area surrounding them in west Ellensburg.

Construction will be around Dolorway Road, and the road will be closed for the remainder of the construction process. Detours have been set up for residents and businesses in the meantime. Construction on the project is expected to last until Nov. 28.

According to Ellensburg’s Stormwater Utility Manager Jon Morrow, the project has been many years in the making and is a continuation of another project that was started back in 2004.

The new project plans to add a second rock and earth levee and new channels around the creeks that will help better guide floodwaters to the existing floodplains.

The original project started in 2004, and the construction of the current levee as well as the floodplain was completed in 2010. Since then, flooding has been less common in the area around Rotary Park.

”We knew we needed to extend this levee up to the railroad because this only stopped a portion of the flooding,” said Morrow.

Other portions of west Ellensburg continued to experience flooding, affecting residents and businesses in the area. 

”Businesses and homes along Dolarway can have six to seven inches of standing water. It can even even be a foot it sometimes, and that’s a problem,” Morrow said. 

According to Morrow, the city has laid out this new project to address the problems that the former project didn’t resolve. That includes stopping creek overflow from soiling into residential and business areas. 

“What happens now is when Reecer and Currier have what I call a blowout,” Morrow said. “It’ll make its way into University Way and then it runs along Dolarway along those businesses and homes. So that leg of the journey has not yet been fixed, and so that’s what this project is for.”

With the completion of this final phase, the flood reduction project that was 18 years in the making will finally be completed.