This week engineers and surveyors will be walking the beaches of Burien home owners to produce a “Base Flood Elevation Study” for determining normal water levels and to pinpoint potential flood hazard areas. They will be taking photographs, measuring bulkheads, and surveying aspects of the shoreline, but will not trespass onto upland property without owner permission first.

Most people think of rivers, reservoirs, and lakes for flooding, but large tidal water bodies can also be considered potential flood zones when storms occur (usually if timed with high tides) that raise the water level onto surrounding properties. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) establishes maps to show base flood elevations along the shorelines, and these can affect home owners who have or want to obtain flood insurance since the rates will be at least partly based on the flooding potential as described in these maps.

The study will be completed in April and made available to all local residents after FEMA approves the results. The study will be made available at Burien City Hall, and it will also be posted on the Burien city website.

For additional information you can contact Project Planner Morgan Wilson at 253-209-4746 or Burien Building Official Lee Bailey at 206-248-5523.

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