City water line still threatened as Public Works tackles storm related tasks

January 28, 2012


A landslide was discovered this week dangerously-close to the city water line’s crossing of the Hood River near Tucker Park. The new green 24-inch steel line is not yet in use. Water is currently flowing through the smaller, eight-inch temporary line to the left of the larger one. The landslide threatens that temporary line, and engineers are studying how to protect it as the slide progresses. Two trees uprooted by the slide fell into the steel trestle and broke, narrowly missing the water lines. A crew felled four other trees threatening to do the same.

With the city water main still in danger from a progressing landslide, city engineers and consultants are working round the clock to assess and address the situation. The city will provide more details on planned interventions as soon as they become available.

Back in town, however, the less dramatic but equally important public works tasks are being checked off the list, one-by-one.

"We're hauling snow off of 13th and from the downtown area this weekend," said Dave Smock, public works foreman. "Our other focus for the weekend is clearing storm drains and the right-of-ways from brush, debris and limbs."

Excess snow will be hauled to a temporary storage site on Port of Hood River property.

"We really appreciate the partnership with the port," said Smock. "We have nowhere to store the snow in the city."

Also as part of the storm cleanup, public works crews are clearing sidewalks, filling potholes and dealing with tree removal evaluations.

"We're filling potholes as fast as we can, but people should call us if they see a pothole that hasn't been attended to. We haven't had time to look at every street," said Smock. "We'll get them on

the list."

Smock again encouraged residents to help crews by keeping fire hydrants clear of snow and ice and to assist with keeping street drains cleared.

"Also, if street sand is piling up, residents can sweep that out to the street for cleanup," Smock said.

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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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