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No major losses reported due to Sprague flooding

by Stephen Floyd, Herald and News 2/14/17

Authorities are considering the response to recent floods along the Sprague River a success after no damage to homes and no injuries to persons were reported.

Flood waters continued to recede Monday and all flood risks were expected to have passed by early Tuesday morning.

Klamath County Disaster and Emergency Services Manager Morgan Lindsay said, despite many fields and roads that were submerged by the floods, she had yet to learn of any homes damaged by flooding.

“The fact that nobody was severely impacted makes it a success,” said Lindsay.

The Sprague River began flooding Friday after a week of heavy rains as well as warmer temperatures that caused snow accumulation to melt. The river crested at more than 9.5 feet in the Beatty area Friday afternoon and continued downstream, cresting in Sprague River Sunday night. Flood waters were expected to recede Monday night or Tuesday morning after passing through the Chiloquin area.

Lindsay led efforts by Klamath County to educate residents about the impending flood risks and make sure sand bags were available. The county partnered with area fire and EMS agencies as well as community groups and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers.

“This was an extremely successful response both by responders and the community in general,” said Lindsay.

She said, as of Monday, county workers and volunteers were still out in the affected areas, checking on residents and structures to ensure there was no need for emergency assistance. Lindsay said, though rain and snow are predicted for later this week, it appears unlikely the river will flood again because much of the snow accumulation has already melted.

“We feel that most of the risk has passed at this point,” she said, adding, “Anything is possible.”

Expense to the county because of the flood is expected to be minimal. On Thursday Lindsay told county commissioners she would come in well below estimates of $15,000 for the response due to the heavy involvement of volunteers and partner agencies and said, at the time, she had spent around $1,000 for sandbags. Lindsay was instructed by commissioners to spend what was reasonably necessary to respond to the flood and a budget amendment for final costs is expected to come before commissioners during a future meeting.



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