Another storm looms

By Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer November 27, 2012 10:57 pm

City of Brookings prepares sandbags Tuesday for possible flooding expected with this week’s storm. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
City of Brookings prepares sandbags Tuesday for possible flooding expected with this week’s storm. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
Brookings city officials are trying to stay one step ahead of a storm the National Weather Service said will bring another 10 to 14 inches of rain starting tonight (Nov. 28) and continue through the weekend. 

The heaviest rainfall is expected  Thursday morning through Friday night, bringing the Chetco River from about 4 feet to 16 – nowhere near the 22 it hit during the last storm and 2.5 feet below the “action” level. Local flooding will also be less than that of last week’s storm, which dumped up to 10 inches in places during a 12-hour period.  A flood warning is in effect from Thursday morning until Friday evening, as well.

According to City Manager Gary Milliman, crews worked late Monday night to install new pipe and backfill the sinkhole along Ransom Avenue in anticipation of the next storm. 

Work started Monday on the Mill Beach Road culvert replacement; work will be done in two stages so one lane of traffic can remain open.

C-More Pipe Service of Rickreall has been hired to clean rock and debris from 200 to 300 feet of pipe in a culvert behind McDonald’s.

Work will not be done in time for the next storm, so a contractor will clean out the area that collapsed, install blocks to stabilize the bank and install sandbags to redirect surface water, Milliman said.

The temporary sewer lift station at Beach Avenue is running and will be in place until the city determines how to reconstruct or relocate it. The city hopes to work with an electrician to salvage the control panel damaged in the deluge.

The city is installing tarps and sandbags along the bluff of several homes along Buena Vista Loop and retained a geotechnical service to evaluate any damage to homes.

Additionally, the city will install a storm drain inlet on Ransom Avenue upstream of the house that was flooded. The flooding to that home’s backyard was caused by a blocked culvert across the street from the house and has been a recurring problem, Milliman said.

The city is placing sandbags at city hall, the NAPA Auto Parts area, Fred Meyer, Buena Vista Loop and the end of Cove Road near new residential construction that does not have drainage improvements installed yet. The city has ordered and received 2,000 sandbags.

More work ahead

Milliman said city employees have received reports of two sewer backups into private houses as a result of sewer mains being charged with storm water, and are investigating a possible sink hole – it would be the fourth – on private property on Hazel Street and other damage at Salmon Run.

They are also considering removing a section of curb at Railroad and Fifth streets to allow flood water to flow into the South Coast log pond, where water from a ditch behind NAPA and the collapsed storm drain behind McDonald’s converged in last week’s storm.

Police, fire and public works employees are coordinating efforts to keep ditches clear of debris, and Milliman said the city’s Vactor truck, a sewer-cleaning vehicle that was used extensively during the last storm, is out of service.

The city has requested assistance from ODOT to clear drainage ditches and culverts along Chetco Avenue, and has set up a contract, materials and labor tracking system specifically for the past and next rain event.

“I have been in contact with state and federal emergency management officials providing them with information that would allow them to evaluate the level of damage and whether it meets the disaster declaration threshold,” Milliman said. “We’re still in ‘emergency mode,’ but we are gathering information that will be useful in developing long-term recommendations to improve drainage systems.”

Businesses that have suffered damage are encouraged to submit “claim-like” statements to Don Kendall, Curry County Emergency Services Coordinator. Kendall will submit all information to the federal government in an attempt to obtain disaster relief assistance. Kendall can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it