County works on flood damages again

UMATILLA COUNTY – This week’s floods saw road damage throughout Umatilla County, including a Birch Creek bridge approach in Pilot Rock. Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer said even as the waters recede it is important not to drive into standing water.

He credited the city of Pendleton for its gravel removal along parts of Lower McKay Creek, saying conditions could have been worse in that area if the city hadn’t performed the work. Shafer and others are calling for a complete study of the creek basin, and he’s sure of what that study will indicate.

“We need to get into that creek bank, clean out the debris, and then shore up the creek banks so that we don’t have the slough off coming in there and then causing more debris and more issues down the road,” he said.

He added that the Umatilla River would benefit from a similar study.

“There definitely are some trouble spots,” he said. “We’re going to have to try and figure out how to make sure the road is safe and passable. That’s the first step.”

(Photo by Chris Bodewig of the flooding Wednesday in Pilot Rock)