Evacuation plans mapped out as flooding continues in Pendleton
PENDLETON, Ore. — The city of Pendleton and its police department continue to update the public on rising water, potential evacuation plans and how to properly manage flooding from the McKay Creek Reservoir.
The Bureau of Reclamation has continuously increased flows out of the McKay Creek Reservoir from 250 cubic feet per second to now 2,500 cubic feet per second.
Thursday, April 11, the city of Pendleton warned the public of the rise in flow rates to 1400cfs and supplied people with sandbags. The rising water levels were a result of rainfall south of Pilot Rock and upper McKay Creek.
The city said on their Facebook page, “In 2005 they [BOR] had it up to 1550cfs with no major issues, so fingers crossed that still holds true”.
Over the next two days, BOR raised the rates about 1100cfs, causing major flood issues throughout the area. By 2 p.m. Saturday, the city expected BOR to continue increasing the rates. On Facebook, the Pendlton Police Department has diagrams and maps for how to properly protect property with sandbags.
People in the area with livestock have been able to find refuge at the Pendleton Round-Up grounds after they were opened to the public. The stalls are free to use during the high waters.
The Red Cross set up an emergency shelter for residents dealing with flooding. The shelter was set up at the Pendleton Convention Center and allows RV and trailers to use the convention center’s power source.
Many residents have lost power in the area. Pacific Power is aware of the issue, as the outage relates to the high waters. The city has advised people to create a longterm plan to go without power since some electric lines and supplies are in the ground, covered by the high waters.
The Pendleton Police Department stated on Saturday an evacuation is unlikely, but routes have been established for “safety, congestion and efficiency purposes”.
They also wrote on Facebook, “There is NOT a scheduled evacuation at this time…if you have any questions contact City County Dispatch at 541-966-3650”.
The evacuation routes with outlined maps include:
SW 44th Street/WEST side of McKay Creek/WEST side of Struve Bridge will proceed south per the attached map on Korvola Road. Emphasis is placed on not crossing McKay Creek.
SW 41st Street/EAST side of McKay Creek will proceed southeast.
SW Kirk Extension/EAST side of Struve Bridge/37th Street will proceed northeast to SW Hailey Avenue.
People have not been asked to evacuate yet. The city has advised people to only find other shelters if they need.
In a Facebook post the city says, “FALSE INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED:
There is rumor people are being asked to evacuate McKay area, THIS IS FALSE.
For direct information please go to reliable resources or phone 541-966-3671″.
The high waters are expected to remain until late into next week.