The Crystal Springs Water District has a 48-hour boil water notice In effect for upper areas of Odell after a large truck ran over a fire hydrant and damaged the main line. Fred Schatz of Crystal Springs says the accident caused a large amount of water to come out of the main line and drain water supplies in the area of Odell to the point where state regulations mandate a precautionary boil water. Areas under the boil order include Shute Road…Gilhouley Road…Kollas Road…Furrow Road…Willow Flat Road from the 4200 address to 4500…Chamberlain Road from 4300 to 4600…and Summit Road from 4100 to 4600. Schatz said the boil order will be lifted once they receive results from water samples submitted for testing.
An Oregon Department of Transportation culvert repair project at Indian Creek in Hood River will begin on Monday, leading to periodic single lane closures on 12th Street between Nix Drive and College Way. ODOT advises lane closures could take place from 6 p.m. Sunday to 3 p.m. Friday, from 6 p.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday, and from 6 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday. The Indian Creek Trail next to the culvert will be closed during construction, and trail users should follow detour signs and respect all closure areas for their safety. Most work will take place during the day, but those living near the work zone may experience some nighttime noise. A 24-hour noise hotline is available at 503-412-2317. Some on-street parking near the work zone, such as on Nix Drive, will be temporarily restricted during construction. Construction is expected to last through September. ODOT says the culvert that carries Indian Creek below 12th Street has become damaged over time, leading to the need for the repair project.
Beginning Monday and continuing through Thursday, the City of The Dalles and Wasco County public works department will be working to chip seal and fog coat many areas in The Dalles. The immediate work sections will be signed the day before to request “no on-street parking” for the following day. Speeds will be reduced to 15 or 20 miles per hour to keep vehicles from dislodging the cover rock and reduce the instances of loose flying rock as the treatments cure. Early morning street sweeping will occur Tuesday and Wednesday in order to remove rock for the “fog” seal coat. After loose rock has been swept from the streets, the fog coat of oil will be applied to the City streets involved. Flaggers and signs will be present to help motorists safely navigate through work areas. Work on 10th Street between Thompson and Dry Hollow has been postponed until late August to allow trucks hauling fruit for the cherry harvest to have uninterrupted passage.
Burnout operations have increased the acreage burned by the Rhoades Canyon Fire east of Clarno to 14,000 acres, but containment has increased to 50 percent. The Central Oregon Interagency Coordination Center said today that firefighters were continuing to construct fireline as well as hold and improve existing containment lines. Increasing temperatures, low relative humidity, and afternoon winds that typically come through the area remained concerns. The cause remains under investigation. The fire is south of Highway 218 and east of the John Day River. The river remains open and the Clarno boat launch is not affected, but boaters should be aware that helicopters may be using the river to dip buckets. A pilot car is being used on Highway 218 when needed, with delays expected at less than 20 minutes.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists are asking residents of The Dalles to not feed deer due to an outbreak of Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease in a local herd. AHD is a virus transmitted by direct contact between deer, making it easier to spread in areas of high deer concentrations. This is particularly a concern where people feed and water deer since it unnaturally concentrates them in a small area. District Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Thompson said his office received several reports of deer dying in the Cherry Heights area in the past month that and AHD was confirmed on specimen sent to the lab. Deer with AHD can have clinical signs common to other diseases including rapid or open mouth breathing, foaming or drooling at the mouth, diarrhea, weakness and emaciation. ODFW is also asking the public to report sightings of deer with these symptoms to its office in The Dalles at 541-296-4628. The virus does not pose a risk to people, domestic pets, livestock or other wildlife. Nor are there any known cases of humans getting sick from AHD or getting the disease from consuming the meat of a deer infected by AHD. The public is asked to bury or take to the landfill any deer carcasses on their property due to the outbreak.
It is a bit later that normal, but there are plenty of good signs for this year’s Mid-Columbia cherry harvest. Lynn Long of Oregon State University Extension says the cherries are looking good at this point, in spite of cool weather during pollination season. He noted some rain late last week caused minor damage to some early varieties, but he said it is a decent crop. The downside of the late harvest start is difficulty to reach the July 4 market. Long says they usually like to get most Mid-Columbia cherries on the market by the Fourth of July, and while there will be some on available then, the bulk of Bing cherries will be a few days after that.
The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center says a fire east of Clarno is at 10,000 acres. About 100 firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wheeler County have battled the Rhoades Canyon Fire burning south of Highway 218. Steep slopes and Wednesday afternoon winds caused the fire make short runs, increasing the size to 10,000 acres, but crews have been successful in getting line around portions of the fire and containment has increased to 30 percent. Crews may use small burnout operations to help contain the fire, while Helicopters and SEAT planes will continue to use water and retardant to knock down the hottest parts of the fire and support ground firefighters during the day. Highway 218 remains open, and the John Day River remains open but boaters should be aware that helicopters may be dipping buckets in the river during daylight hours. When helicopters approach, boaters should hold up until the helicopter has moved away.
The Bingen City Council has decided not to continue exploration of combining their city with White Salmon. Councilors discussed the matter at length, but Mayor Betty Barnes says they felt at this time there wasn’t a need to move forward. The Bingen and White Salmon councils met in late May to discuss the subject after a report had been prepared by staff of both cities on the pros and cons of combining. Barnes pointed out with a Council election coming up this fall, the issue could be revisited when new Councilors take positions in January. White Salmon Councilors had decided last week to wait on what the Bingen Council wanted to do before taking any other steps.
It will be a busy summer of construction for the Hood River County School District. Superintendent Dan Goldman says a number of projects will be taking place, much of it stemming from last year’s voter-approved capital improvement bond. He outlines work that will take place inside Hood River Middle School, including repainting of interior walls, recarpeting, and renovation of major systems. The parking lot at Wy’east Middle School is being redone to reduce congestion, while a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math center is being put together there. Planning continues for construction of a new May Street Elementary School, with work there scheduled to start in February.
Washington 14th District State Representative Gina McCabe says she is working to try to find options for Klickitat County residents who purchase their insurance on the individual market. The Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner announced recently that Klickitat County may be without health insurance coverage in 2018 as carriers have not filed plans in the county for the state’s 2018 individual health insurance market. McCabe says her office has been in close contact with the Commisioner’s office and House Health Care Committee members to try to find a solution. As of March 2017, more than 1,100 people in Klickitat County were enrolled in the individual market, with only two options available in the county. Currently, those without a health insurer available in their county can seek coverage through the state’s high-risk pool, but because it is not considered a qualified exchange insurer, subsidies are not available to off-set the costs for medium-to-low-income families.