Severe Flooding in the Lower Duwamish River Impacts Communities
Recently communities of the lower Duwamish River experienced severe flooding from a combination of King Tides (abnormally high tides) and higher volumes of water in the river from the intense rain storm which increased rainfall in our area. King Tides occur when a new or full moon is closest to the earth and aligned with the sun to create an intense gravitation pull which increases the intensity of the tides.
Over thirty (30+) families along Kenyon and Chicago streets in South Park, along the river were impacted by the flooding, many from Hispanic, Vietnamese or Khmer communities.
If you would like to help these community members, our partner Duwamish River Community Coalition has links to several ways to help from money donations, items such as household goods, cleanup items, food ect. Please use the item list for the specific community needs, this is what the community has requested.
We thank you for supporting our Duwamish communities in this time of need.
What causes a King Tide?
Higher-than-normal tides usually happen during a new or full moon, when it’s closest to the Earth and when it aligns with the sun, creating a stronger gravitational pull, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Tides are waves that occur as the ocean is pulled back and forth when the moon and sun interact with Earth during their monthly and yearly orbits. Other factors such as heavy rains and ocean conditions can influence the height of a tide as well, according to NOAA.
When a storm hits during a king tide, flooding can be significantly worse in some low-lying areas, the agency said. That’s what happened Tuesday when the Duwamish River overflowed into South Park homes.
As sea levels rise due to climate change, NOAA expects king tides to cause flooding more often.
Green-Duwamish River Salmon — Do You Know —
Our river’s 5 species of salmon are fearlessly returning from their amazing life journey which started as eggs in gravel nests (only less than 1% will return to spawn) in the southern part of the watershed’s river, creeks and channels. As the young salmon grew, they started their great journey traveling down the river towards the ocean, where their bodies changed from living in fresh water to adapting to the salt water of the ocean. This change starts in the river where tidal flows start to occur in Tukwila and is know as the important transition zone, making the young salmon ready for their life in the ocean. As the young salmon reach Elliot Bay, they move along the shoreline feeding and resting with the Pacific Ocean as their destination. They have lived in the ocean from 2 – 7 years before they start their long journey home to their birth place, sometimes traveling thousands of miles to the creek of their birth. These amazing salmon have survived predators, shrinking habitat and climate change to give life to their next generations.
Can you name all 5 of the river’s salmon species?
(Chinook/King, Coho, Pink, Chum, Sockeye)
Not only is their life journey amazing but the salmon web of life which has developed over thousands of years with over 130 wildlife species dependent on salmon, trees which have salmon DNA from salmon carcasses fertilizing the soil, and their cultural and economic regional importance. You can see these astonishing salmon on their journey in spring to the ocean as juveniles and then as adults returning at these locations along the river :
t̓uʔəlaltxʷ Village Park, 4260 W Marginal Way SW, Seattle 98106
Herrings House and həʔapus Village Parks, 4750 W Marginal Way SW, Seattle, 98106
Duwamish River People’s Park and Shoreline Habitat, 8700 Dallas Ave S, Seattle, 98108
Cecil Moses Park and North Wind’s Weir, 2914 South 112th St. Tukwila, 98168
Codiga Park, 50th Place South, Tukwila, 98178
Fort Dent Park, 6800 Fort Dent Way, Tukwila, 98188
Longfellow Creek Diary Project
Our iconic Longfellow Creek runs the length of West Seattle, From its headwaters at Roxhill Park to Elliot Bay, the creek is an important part of this city’s story and that of our community. We want your personal stories of the creek in this community Diary of Longfellow – past experiences, current activities or special memories, all help to tell the tapestry of Longfellow’s story throughout time. If you have historic photos of the creek that you would like to share as a part of this project, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a collaborative project with Log House Museum, Duwamish Alive Coalition, Delridge Neighborhood Development Assn, and Tom Reese.
As one of the last remaining ancient peat bogs (over 10,000 years old) in Seattle, Roxhill Bog has a unique ecosystem and is the headwaters of Longfellow Creek, which runs 3.5 miles through West Seattle before it reaches Elliot Bay. Roxhill Bog plays an important part of the creek’s watershed, as the drainage basin for sixty surrounding acres, collecting sediments and pollutants from rain and storm water run off. Plants absorb some pollutants while the spongy peat soil helps filter sediments, essential for providing healthy water quality. Longfellow Creek is one of Seattle’s few salmon spawning creeks.
Climate change and urbanization has impacted the health of Roxhill Bog, reducing the amounts of water flowing into the wetland to maintain its healthy ecosystem. Water that would normally flow into the bog has been diverted into storm drainage systems while climate change has increased summer temperatures and reduced rainfall causing the peat to dry and degrade. Visit our Roxhill Bog page for additional information and to get updates on the restoration project.