The City of Sultan sits at the confluence of the Sultan and Skykomish Rivers. Its location provides wonderful recreation opportunities. However, it also presents challenges, especially during times of heavy rain when the rivers rise and overflow their normal channels. About 30% of Sultan residents are located within the Flood Hazard Area.
The information in this section is intended to provide you with valuable information on how to prepare, respond and protect your property and family from the impacts of a flood disaster. This is only one of several documents available from the City of Sultan Building Department designed to inform the public about flood preparedness.
For more information, please contact:
City of Sultan Planning Department
Email City Hall
Hazard Mitigation Plan
In compliance with the Stafford Act, Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, and 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 201, Snohomish County and Planning Partners maintain a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). The plan was last updated in September 2015 and a future update is scheduled for 2021. The HMP identifies resources, information and strategies for reducing risk from natural hazards. The plan guides and coordinates mitigation activities throughout Snohomish County.
View Sultan’s 2018 Progress Report (PDF) regarding implementation of the Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Current River Height
Flood Hazard Areas in Sultan
There are three flood zones in the City limits of Sultan:
- The 100-Year Flood Zone, which contains a large portion of the City
- The 500-Year Flood Zone, which is a small fraction of the City found mostly on the fringes of the 100-Year Zone
- The Floodway, which is located south of Dyer Road and Skywall Drive alongside the Skykomish River and west of 1st Street bordering the Sultan River
- Snohomish County is the second most flood-prone county in the State of Washington.
- The floodplains of Sultan are created by three river systems. The Skykomish, the Sultan, and the Wallace Rivers.
- Flooding occurs frequently on all of these systems. Records show that major flooding has occurred 10 times since 1980, with the Thanksgiving flood of 1990 the largest on record.
- Snohomish County is the number one repetitive loss area in the region.
- Flooding problems associated with these river systems include over-bank river flooding, rapid stream channel migration, and stream bank erosion.
Natural & Beneficial Functions of Floodplains
Floodplains are a natural component of the City of Sultan environment. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. When flooding spreads out across the floodplain, its energy is dissipated, which results in lower flood flows downstream, reduced erosion of the stream bank and channel, deposition of sediments higher in the watershed, and improved groundwater recharge.
Poorly planned development in floodplains can lead to stream bank erosion, loss of valuable property, increased risk of flooding to downstream properties, and degradation or water quality.