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Smith River in destructive fury

Smith River residents drive through a flooded area, above, and the corner of Lake Earl Drive and Bailey Road, below, is under water. Courtesy of the Del Norte County Historical Society
Phyllis Tedsen can’t remember the exact day floodwaters drove her and her family from their home, but she knows she didn’t take refuge in their barn.

Tedsen, her husband Harry and their three kids operated Tedsen Dairy on Pala Road on the south side of the Smith in December 1964 when the river crept up to their door. 

On Dec. 24, 1964, Gladys Lehmkuhl, a Smith River correspondent for the Crescent City American reported: “There was much concern about the Harry Tedsens. No one had seen or heard from them. As the river started to go down someone in a boat rode out in the Tedsen Barn. There they all were safe.”

Senator focuses on DN interests

McGuire takes strong stance on mining in Smith watershed 

California State Senator Mike McGuire dropped by the Triplicate offices last week, one stop on a Dec. 19 tour around Del Norte that included the airport, Rumiano Cheese Factory, Fred Endert Municipal Pool and Redwood State and National Parks.

Newly-elected to represent the 2nd Senate District, McGuire promised to personally visit its most northerly county once a month. He also plans to open a district office in Crescent City by February, he said. 

Tips for watching whales start Saturday

With sharp eyes, patience and a good pair of binoculars folks in Del Norte may catch a glimpse of the gray whales wending their way south from Alaska. 

Alan Justice, a volunteer with the Oregon State Parks program Whale Watching Spoken Here, can help. He’ll be providing tips, educational materials and brochures at Brother Jonathan Point at the foot of 9th Street in Crescent City Saturday through Wednesday, weather permitting.  

Brothers’ quarrel ends with arrest

The Crescent City Police Department arrested Daniel Nunez, 29, of Crescent City after Nunez allegedly attempted to run over his brother on Dec. 17. 

Crescent City Police Sgt. Joe Sullivan said Samuel Nunez noticed that Daniel Nunez had gone through his room the previous day. 


The End of an Era

Officials survey a washed-out Douglas Bridge on Highway 101 in Klamath following the Christmas Flood of 1964. Photo by Maris Ward courtesy of the Maris Ward family
It was the week before Christmas in 1964 and snow covered the mountains from an earlier Alaskan cold front. On Dec. 18, a warm “Pineapple Express” storm from the tropics had arrived and began delivering large amounts of rainfall to the Northwest region. Warm rains melted the snowpack, and the runoff steadily increased the flow of Klamath River watershed creeks and tributaries, causing the river to rise quickly. Within days, concerns grew with anticipation of dreaded flooding. 

The Klamath River had flooded numerous times before, sometimes disastrously, including one flood over 150 years ago mentioned in Frances Turner McBeth’s “Lower Klamath Country” that destroyed Fort Ter-Waw near Klamath Glen. It rained almost constantly in the winter of 1861–1862, and Terwer Valley was covered by the floodwaters. As a result, 22 buildings at Fort Ter-Waw were washed away. And in more recent times, Klamath residents and businesses survived the 1955 flood that caused considerable damage and loss of homes when the river reached 44 feet. 

Slide redirects Patrick Creek

A landslide, visible on the left, has pushed the creek closer to the road. Courtesy Jeff Daniels
Lake Earl will be breached in coming week 

Torrential rain sent the embankments on either side of Patrick Creek Road tumbling down over the weekend, closing the road indefinitely, according to county officials.

As a rock slide cuts off both lanes about 1.25 miles from Hwy 199, another landslide across the creek has rerouted the scouring flows. If huge boulders left tottering on the edge take the plunge, it could wash out the pavement completely, explained Del Norte County Roads Superintendent Jeff Daniels.

DN posts lowest Nov. jobless rate since 2007

Unemployment in Del Norte County and the state of California as a whole is seeing a return to pre-recession levels,  according to the California Employment Development Department.

Del Norte County’s unemployment rate last month was the lowest November rate since 2007, meanwhile California’s overall unemployment rate is at its lowest level since June 2008.

Man rescued from rising water near Requa ramp

The rising waters on the Klamath River nearly claimed the life of a man reportedly living in the brush near the banks, but a persistent effort from a Del Norte Sheriff’s deputy and Yurok Tribal Police finally paid off with the rescue of Yew-Sou Wong.

Deputy Adam Daniels recieved a call about a subject possibly stranded near the Requa boat ramp. Daniels tried to reach the area on West Klamath Beach Road, but by about 7 a.m. the road had become impassable.

Students’ Polar Plunge canceled

A polar bear swim and a chili cook-off to raise money for a high school trip to the Mediterranean coast has been canceled.

Sponsored by Del Norte High School’s World Edventures Booster Club, the event was scheduled to take place on New Year’s Day with people sprinting into the ocean at the Crescent City Harbor and warming up at the chili cook-off afterwards. 

Study backs reroute of 101

Climate change’s impact on Last Chance Grade examined 

Sea level rise and more intense storms could exacerbate coastal erosion, flooding and landslides on Del Norte County’s coastal roads, particularly at Last Chance Grade, according to a federally-funded study on climate change impacts to North Coast roads.

Using public input and direction from a technical advisory group, the study concluded that rerouting U.S. Highway 101 around the active slide was the most desirable of two adaptation strategies to cope with climate change.

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