City of Mount Vernon Celebrates Flood Wall Completion
MOUNT VERNON—Mayor Jill Boudreau and the Mount Vernon City Council Members invite the community to come and celebrate the culmination of over 15 years of focused collaboration, planning and hard work.
On Saturday September 28th at 10am, community leaders and residents will gather at the south end of the Skagit Riverwalk in Downtown Mount Vernon to celebrate the completion of the $31 million flood protection and waterfront revitalization project.
The Floodwall project is a key component of the City’s comprehensive Downtown Redevelopment Plan, and was designed to protect vital downtown property, commerce and infrastructure from small and large flood events.
The Skagit River and the residents of Mount Vernon have a long, storied history, as the river has come to be recognized as not only the City’s greatest natural amenity; but also as its perennial economic nemesis.
The recent threat of flooding in the downtown business core is not the first barrier that the River has presented to local commerce. Over a century ago, a logjam that choked out a mile and a half of the river in Mount Vernon, prevented the flow of commerce to and from the city, until 1879. At that time, 140 years ago, Mount Vernon residents recognized the potential for business to flourish if the logjam were to be removed. They were successful in their efforts to remove the jam, and the city thrived.
Today, a similarly determined and forward-leaning group of leaders have removed another threat from the Skagit River. By offering current and future business investors flood protection in the city’s historic downtown core, city officials say they expect to realize riverfront development that has been a part of the city’s comprehensive plan for some time. Hotels, restaurants, market rate condominiums along the 1.3 mile Riverwalk, are all projects in which developers have expressed interest, once the flood protection wall is complete.
“This launches the beginning of an unprecedented opportunity for economic vitality in our city,” Mayor Boudreau said.
Representatives from FEMA will be present at Saturday’s celebration. FEMA hails the Mount Vernon Flood Protection Project as a national model for community leadership, collaboration and perseverance. And the project is the subject of FEMA Region X’s latest video spotlight: https://youtu.be/-09lWDeAkiw
September is National Preparedness Month, and FEMA announced that the theme of week 4 (Sept 22-30) is: Get Involved in Your Community’s Preparedness. As the City of Mount Vernon celebrates Preparedness with the completion of its Downtown floodwall, FEMA and the City of Mount Vernon are encouraging all County residents to join in the process of preparation by 1. Making a plan to prepare for disasters, 2. Save early for disaster costs, 3. Involve youth to prepare for disasters, and 4. Get involved with your community’s preparedness.