WENATCHEE — Chelan County is close to buying land near the top of No. 1 Canyon Road to build a basin to catch and filter floodwaters that follow heavy rain storms.
The 2.63-acre site is at mile 2.70, Jason Detamore, manager of the county’s storm water program, said Wednesday. He declined to reveal the sale price until the sale is final.
The county plans to build a water-retention pond at the site to capture canyon floodwater. It would contain check dams — rock structures to slow the water flow and capture sediment, logs and other debris before they can clog Wenatchee stormwater ditches and drains, inundating homes and businesses. The project has been in the works for more than a year, Detamore said.
Many homeowners who live below Wenatchee canyons have seen layers of muck and debris deposited in their homes and yards twice this summer and in recent years following heavy rains.
Detamore says he expects the project will be the first of several in No. 1 and No. 2 canyons, which have drainages that cross Wenatchee and empty into the Columbia River.
“One is not a solution,” he said Wednesday of the project. “We need many more of these… We understand the amount of hard work the community has been through in those canyons. We’re excited to hopefully assist in this way. It’s long overdue.”
The county will build the $386,000 project with the help of $309,000 in state State Department of Ecology grant. The rest will come from the county’s storm water utility fund, which currently contains about $1.3 million, Detamore said.
He expects the retention project to be finished by summer 2014.
County officials are looking for additional up-canyon lands for more projects, he said. Much of the land in those areas is federally owned.