Flood District working to reopen stretch of Cedar River

Nine-mile section has been closed due to logjams


Work being done by the King County Flood Control District will allow King County to reopen a stretch of the Cedar River that has been closed for over a year due to dangerous conditions caused by logjams in the river.

“The Flood Control District is committed to making this section of the Cedar available to the public,” said Flood District Chair Reagan Dunn. “The work being done should make this area safer.”

“Our focus has always been on safety—protecting those who would use the river and the first responders who might be needed for a water rescue,” said Supervisor Dave Upthegrove, whose district includes part of the closed section of the Cedar River. “This will work will protect everyone who wants to enjoy using the river.”

A nine-mile stretch of the Cedar River between Maple Valley and Renton was closed in July 2016 by the King County Sheriff’s Office to all recreational use due to safety hazards posed by numerous logjams and fallen trees in the river.

Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, floating and wading are all prohibited in the designated closure area, which stretched from approximately 1.5 miles below the SR-18 crossing of the Cedar River (in the vicinity of Maple Valley Market) and extended through Ron Regis Park, covering river miles 13.5 through 4.5.
Staff from the County’s Water and Land Resources Division, Road Services Division, and the Washington Conservation Corps will be cutting through the logjams, allowing safer usage of that section of the river when finished.

With the reopening of this section of the Cedar, when floating or boating in rivers or other bodies of water,remember these basic tips:

  • Always wear a lifejacket, regardless of your ability to swim.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when recreating on the river.
  • Watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water; stay close enough to reach them immediately.
  • Always tell someone your route and when and where you expect to put in and take out.
  • Have a back-up plan for emergency contact in case your trip is cut short by an unforeseen obstacle or emergency.
  • Never float a river alone and, if possible, make sure there is at least one oared craft in your group in case a rescue is needed.
  • Bring a dry bag with food, water, warm clothes and sturdy footwear for hiking around danger areas.

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The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County. The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council. The Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks develops and implements the approved flood protection projects and programs. Information is available at www.kingcountyfloodcontrol.org.