Corbett urges redesignation for lower McKay Creek

By on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

PENDLETON – The National Weather Service predicts more rain is on its way, with the heaviest amounts falling Friday through Sunday. A half inch to an inch is forecast, with more in the mountains than in the lowlands.

That could mean a return to flood conditions that the Pendleton area experienced Sunday. City Manager Robb Corbett said that a flooding threat will always be a possibility until the federal government changes lower McKay Creek’s designation.

“The critical habitat designation that was made on McKay Creek has prohibited our ability to maintain that stream,” he said. “Gravel is building up in there and it’s increasing the risk of people who live on that stream and we’ve got to fix that.”

Corbett said the flash flood that closed traffic on Tutuilla Road Sunday came as a surprise, because it involved creeks that are not monitored. “We had heavier than predicted rains,” he said. “It fell from the sky, came off the mountain, and into the valleys. Patawa Creek and Tutuilla Creek are not monitored.”