Spring Flooding Worsens, Shady River Sandbagged
Spring melt-off plus constant heavy rains in recent weeks are raising the levels of lakes, streams, and rivers throughout the northern end of the state to flood stage.
Pine Ridge Dam, an earthen dam is cracking, leaking and overflowing. Crews of state and county workers are sandbagging Pine Ridge. Pendleton Valley below Pine Ridge is presently a flood plain.
Big Ridge Dam has had to open its flood gates for the past 5 days. Rangers from Big Pine National Forest cleared residents from the valley below Big Ridge right before the floodgates opened.
Blue Lake, Goose Lake, as well as White Lake and White River all are experiencing minor flooding. The flooding is affecting roads and traffic in and out of those areas.
Boss Ranger Bill Jefferson is leading large company of workers to load and stack sandbags, including a group of Big Pine rangers as well as Knotty Pine area volunteers, to the Shady River flood zone about 20 miles south of Knotty Pine. Weather Service forecasters expect the rain and rising waters to continue for several more days. Volunteers from River's Bend and Junction City have set up kitchens to feed the hundreds of workers who are working tirelessly to save homes, ranches and farms in the area.
Area ministers have set up to offer workers worship services for baggers and kitchen workers. Worship is planned to begin with a sunrise hymn sing.
To add to the Sahdy's problems, this is the beginning of the logging season on the Shady. Logging bosses Frenchy DeSalle and Zac Stevens have agreed to limit the number of logs and size of log rafts their logging operations send down the Shady. Several trucking firms have agreed work overtime to help deliver logs to mill for DeSalle and Stevens.
Everyone using the Shady for boating or shipping are asked to stay off the river for the next few days.
Ranger Bill vs. The Survivor Men
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson is offering classes on how to avoid being in a "Survivor Man" situation. Ranger Bill has great respect for both Bear Grillis of "Man vs. Wild" and Les Stroud of "Survivor Man." These gentlemen are experts in survival. Ranger Bill and Mr. Grillis have had similar military survival training. But they cannot safely teach successful survival techniques on TV. Ranger Bill asks that you do not attempt surviving as a hobby. Bill tells the GAZETTE he will be teaching wilderness survival by not getting lost in the first place. Bill offers three sets of weekend classes in wilderness, mountain, and desert hiking and camping. The classes will show what gear and supplies are required; maps, compasses, and signal devices to use; and most importantly, the skills required to stay safely on marked trails.
Mr Jefferson will sprinkle these excursions with some survival training, just in case you do get lost.
Bill wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer while camping, fishing, climbing, and hiking in Big Pine National Forest. And our chief ranger promises that these will be fun and entertaining trips into the wild.