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Break in rain eases worries

High waters along the Sprague River have gone over banks in some parts, but county officials say homes in the river’s valley are safe for now.

December 30, 2005, by DYLAN DARLING

Waters remain high on rivers

A chilly break in rainy weather put flood worries on ice Thursday in the Sprague River Valley.

Waters are still high in and around Chiloquin where the Sprague and Williamson rivers merge, and Klamath County officials are keeping their eyes on the rivers and on the forecast.

“Fortunately we have had a break in weather,” said Bill Thompson, county emergency manager. “But the next 36 hours will tell the tale.”

Rain is expected to return to the area, but it should be light and scattered enough that it won't push the river close to flood stage.

“I don't think it would cause any kind of flooding,” said Dan Mundell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

According to a National Weather Service flooding advisory Wednesday, the Sprague as expected to rise to 7 1/2 feet near Beatty. The river topped at just under 7 feet. Flood stage is 8 1/2 feet.

“So it's been running close to bank full, but it is not flooding,” Mundell said.

In the Sprague River Valley, there were spots where the river had flowed into pastures and fields, but no homes were threatened by flood waters, he said.

Precipitation Wednesday night and early Thursday came as snow, and snow was expected to fall again Thursday night. The questions now are if and when rain will come and if it does, how warm it will be.

A warm rain could melt the snow and again cause flood worries.

For now, the rivers look to be high, but not out of control.

“Right now we are in good shape, providing that we don't get any bad weather,” said Cpl. Shawn Richards, rural patrol team leader for the Klamath County Sheriff's office.

The Sprague and Williamson rivers last flooded in the winter of 1996-97, after a similar string of weather. The last flooding before that was in 1964.

Warning issued for Siskiyou County

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning with heavy rain and snow spreading across Siskiyou County for the next several days.

Included in the warning is a flood watch for central, south central and western Siskiyou County from today through Saturday morning.

In preparation for any potential flooding in Siskiyou County, sandbags and sand will be available at the county road maintenance yards in Dorris, Happy Camp and other cities. Workers will be at the yards from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.

At other times, people can call the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department's 24-hour dispatch number at (530) 841-2900 to make arrangements to pick up sandbags and sand.




Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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