A flood-prone house owned by Pierce County will be used for a Tacoma Police Department SWAT team training exercise Feb. 8 before it is ultimately demolished by county crews and returned to a natural floodplain.
The SWAT team will practice various tactical exercises at the house, located at 4303 47th Ave. E in the Riverside neighborhood between Tacoma and Puyallup. Neighbors may notice noise and activity during the training, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We appreciate the opportunity to use this property to train in a realistic setting,” said SWAT Commander Lt. Ed Wade of the Tacoma Police Department. “This type of training is valuable in order to practice tactical skills for situations we may encounter in the future.”
The property was purchased by the county in December 2012 following frequent damage due to flooding as part of the county’s flood buyout program. The county is able to purchase river related, flood-prone and flood damaged properties from willing sellers primarily using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding.
“These buyouts provide a permanent solution to the risks and damages of repetitive flooding,” said Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. “They also significantly reduce the costs to the county, state and federal agencies associated with clean-up, evacuations, insurance claims, and more. We’re pleased to make this house available to the SWAT team for their training.”
More information about the flood buyout program, including a film featuring homeowners that participated in the program, is available at www.piercecountywa.org/flood.
Note to editors: As this is a training exercise, filming and interview opportunities will not be available onsite.
Questions about the property and flood buyout program:Harold Smelt, Public Works and Utilities surface water manager(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about SWAT exercise:Officer Naveed Benjamin, PIO
Tacoma Police Department(253) 405-7546NBenjami@ci.tacoma.wa.us