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Sandy River ready to offer its challenges

Informational gathering will help local residents get ready for winter


by: POST FILE PHOTO - POST FILE PHOTO The power of the Sandy River is clearly visible in this photo taken during the river€sˇÃ„ôs fury on the mountain in January 2011.Winter is coming, and nobody knows it better than those living near the Sandy River.

The Sandy is often a calmly flowing drainage from Oregon’s Cascade Mountain range, but in the winter that stream can turn into a raging torrent of power able to wipe out roads, bridges, homes and valuable acreage.

Residents in the area of Welches know the scenario only too well after the deluge of January 2011 fed the river’s surge off the mountain.

Clackamas County is trying to be proactive this winter by assembling plenty of resources and making them available to mountain residents.

The Villages at Mt. Hood, Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, Hoodland Fire District and Clackamas County are playing hosts to a workshop/open house to benefit mountain residents who live near the river.

The Clackamas County commissioners will be present, and there will be information and resources available from local and state agencies and organizations on a variety of topics, including: flood insurance; emergency preparedness; sustainability/energy efficiency, and winter road maintenance.

Representatives from Clackamas County Land Use and Zoning, and Emergency Management will share information about the movement of the Sandy River channel and options for repairs and protecting property in or near the floodplain.

Water Environment Services staff will be there to show what the WES Outfall Project will look like and discuss its timing and impact.

Experts from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries will discuss FEMA flood mapping updates and the 2011 Channel Migration Zone Study for the Sandy River.

A FEMA flood insurance specialist will be available to answer questions on insurance policies and eligibility.

The public is welcome to drop in to the workshop/open house any time during the three-hour session, talk with agency representatives, gather information and register for prize drawings.