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Updated 4:23pm - Sep 16, 2014

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow One year later, Klamath still waits

One year later, Klamath still waits

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

A year ago a flooded Klamath River crested almost nine feet over flood stage.

Today the concrete boat ramp at Klamath Townsite and a badly scoured hole at the end of Roy Rook boat dock remain, as does a temporary Acro bridge enabling traffic to traverse Klamath Beach Road.

Blame it on complex, double-sourced funding to repair the storm-related damage.

A year ago, the New Year's weekend storms pummeled the Del Norte shoreline, causing an estimated $5 million damage at 64 sites.

Klamath beared the brunt of the storm.

An end to the waiting period for the boat ramps is dimly visible, and starting and ending dates are set for the Klamath Beach Road project.

Jay Sarina, who is coordinating the boat ramp projects, has worked for the past year with California's Office of Emerg-ency Services for money to pay for improvements to the Roy Rook ramp in Klamath.

To get funding for the Klamath Townsite ramp repair, however, Sarina's had to stay in touch with the Federal Emerg-ency Management Agency.

Sound confusing?

The two agencies are only part of a long list of entities whose names resemble a big bowl of vegetable/alphabet soup.

"We are working with state OES and working with an engineer for the design of (both) ramps," Sarina said. "We also have a contractor who's going to handle the environmental permitting process."

Both boat ramp projects are situations "where the estimates of funding are different," he said.

Not only that, no estimates of damage to the Roy Rook ramp could be done until water in the Klamath River hit its lowest level.

"OES didn't want to use a diver," Sarina said in explaining the long wait for any damage estimate to the Roy Rook ramp. "They saw it while it was at its lowest level."

But the ramps aren't the only project still waiting to be completed. There's also the washed out beach road.

County Engineer Art Reeve and the county's Klamath Beach Road contractor, SHN Consulting Engineers & Geologists, met Dec. 13 with Yurok tribal representatives to finalize how the complex permitting process necessary for the beach road project would be undertaken.

The meeting resulted in definite start and end dates for road work: the project will begin Sept. 4 and finish Nov. 2.

Restrictions along the Klamath River mandate that work done there can happen only when it least impacts the endangered coho salmon for whom it is home.

When it's complete, the one-lane bridge will be gone and the hill above it — the hill a damaging landslide came down during the storm — will be properly shored up to prevent another such occurrence.

 


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