Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan

The County-wide Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan is a collaborative project led by Cowlitz County with assistance from local cities, diking districts, restoration specialists, community leaders, emergency responders and others. The project is funded with a grant through the Washington Department of Ecology.

Public Review Draft: Cowlitz County Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan

Draft Flood Hazard Management Plan (PDF download link)Front Page Opens in new window

The public is invited to review and comment on the Draft Cowlitz County Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan (CFHMP). The 14-day comment period begins on June 9th and ends on June 23rd.

The goal of the CFHMP is to minimize the long-term risk to life and property from flooding. The CFHMP evaluates the risk and vulnerability to flooding and identifies mitigation actions the community can take to reduce the impacts of flooding. It also includes goals, objectives, and policies to support the local agencies when making decisions related to flooding.

Since December 2021, a steering committee of local officials and citizens have been meeting to develop the CFHMP. The committee is ready to present to the CFHMP to the public for review and comment. The draft CFHMP is available at the link above or by visiting the Cowlitz County Department of Building & Planning at 207 Fourth Avenue North #119 Kelso, WA 98626.

After the comment period ends, the CFHMP will be sent to the Department of Ecology for approval, and then be presented to the Board of County Commissioners for adoption after a public hearing.

The pubic is encouraged to provide input on the draft CFHMP. Please direct any questions or comments about the plan to Adam Trimble by calling 306-577-3052 x6664 or by emailing All comments must be received by June 23rd.

Updating Prior Flood Management Plans

The product will be an actionable ten year management plan that identifies vulnerable areas and potential solutions to reduce loss of life and property due to flooding and inundation.  Timeline for adoption is June 2021- June 20231988 plan image

Learn more:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Link (PDF)

Safety and Preparedness

Information on Floodplain regulation, safety and planning can be found here

Flood Hazard Map Application for Cowlitz County:

This map tool uses several modeling techniques to estimate flood risks and is a useful resource to learn more about flood hazards. Contact Building and Planning with questions for areas in Cowlitz County Jurisdiction.

Interactive Map of Watersheds and City and Diking District Boundaries: County Flood Plan BoundariesBelow: Illustration of Columbia River levels during historic flood eventsColumbia River Flood History

Below:  1933 photo of flooding in North Kelso [used with permission from Cowlitz County Historical Museum for this purpose only.]

Noth Kelso historic flooding Cowlitz County MuseumLogocombine

Archived: Cowlitz County Planning Department is hosting three Open Houses in February to increase Flooding Awareness and collect feedback on the Flood Hazard Plan update

Residents are invited to learn about flood hazards and participate in updating the Flood Hazard Management Plan through three upcoming open houses. Learn about flood risks facing property, travel routes and work and school locations using state of the art Hazus modeling software. The community may provide input and learn about the plan update process. Representatives from FEMA and local government will be in attendance. 

Attend an Open House on Flood Preparedness

  1. Central (Kelso, Longview, Lexington, Rose Valley): Wednesday, Feb. 15, 4-7 pm County Administration Building, 207 N. 4th Ave Kelso
  2. North (Castle Rock, Sliver Lake, Toutle, Ryderwood): Thursday, Feb. 16, 10 am- 12:00 pm   Department of Natural Resources (DNR): Building 601 Bond Rd. Castle Rock
  3. South (Kalama, Woodland, Ariel, Cougar): Thursday, February 16,    4 pm- 6 pm Cowlitz Fire District 5, Station 2 – 415 Todd Rd.  Kalama

 During the open houses, attendees will be able to look up their property using state of the art modeling software to understand risks of flooding, review the proposed plan updates and provide feedback to the county. Experts will be available to answer questions and provide additional information about the plan update process. The Flood Hazard Management Plan is an important document that helps guide the county's efforts to reduce flood risks and protect the community. The county encourages all members of the community to attend one of the open houses and provide input on the plan updates.

For more information, please contact the Cowlitz County Building and Planning Department