City water line stabilized

February 4, 2012

As snowdrifts melt and fallen trees are slowly cleared around the valley, city water users can begin to rest a little easier.

According to Mark Lago, director of public works for Hood River, the city water main, recently threatened by a progressing landslide on the banks of the Hood River, has been stabilized.

"We have driven I-beams 40 feet into the ground at the top of the slope away from the slide and cantilevered rods over to the 8-inch water line to support it," said Lago. The support structure will ensure that even if the soil drops away from under the water line, it will remain suspended and functional.

"We also have a plan in place if the line becomes endangered again," he said. "We will build a new line next to the 24-inch replacement. It is actually cheaper to do that than to try and save the old one with any further actions if there is another big slide."

Discovered during the ice storm, the current landslide, which threatened the water main, is located on a steep bank of the Hood River below Riverside Drive.

The section of the line in danger was that leading to the trestle bridge which supports the current and future replacement water lines across the Hood River.

"We are pretty confident that this stabilization should hold us through the spring," said Lago. "The danger has diminished greatly."

The landslide was discovered last month during the snow and ice storms that played havoc on the county. Public works staff and other crews worked quickly to stabilize the situation before any damage was done to the water line.

Emergency actions to protect the pipeline has cost the city nearly $300,000, which it hopes will be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief funds. See the FEMA story page A1 details.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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