USGS Washington Water Science Center
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In the past, levees have been built along the river banks of the Puyallup River to prevent floodwater from damaging roads, buildings, farms, and other areas in the floodplain. Because levees can worsen flooding by creating backwater effects or reducing floodplain storage, Pierce County is planning to remove current levees and build new ones further away from the river channels.
To help Pierce County evaluate the effects of levee relocation, the USGS is studying the shape and structure of river channels using advanced technologies that include airborne multispectral imaging and LIDAR mapping.