Flooding levels are slowly receding throughout Umatilla County, including along McKay Creek. But city, county and state emergency officials advised residents not to remove sandbags just yet.
County in a written statement reported the incident command team met with agencies Monday morning. The Bureau of Reclamation reported the outflow from McKay Reservoir was 2,350 cubic feet per second, 500 cfs lower than at points during the weekend, with a goal to reduce the flow to 2100 cfs by end of the day. The bureau also would maintain that level until further assessment.
The news release advised residents where flooding overran their private wells to boil water for at least a minute for health reasons or use bottled water from a safe source until wells are tested and determined safe. The city of Pendleton’s municipal water supply remains safe, according to the city.
The flood water could also contain debris and hazardous materials, so locals should avoid being in the water. For further information, visit the Oregon Health Authority’s link on flooding:
Crews dug a precautionary water diversion trench Monday morning around the privately owned bridge at Pendleton’s wastewater treatment plant, according to the report. The city also continues to close Struve Bridge off Kirk Extension. Public works in on the scene and monitoring the bridge.
Operations crews will be out Monday, using GPS addressing to look for damage to homes as they begin to access recovery needs.
Local officials also called in Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, to assist with the flooding. These volunteers will begin canvasing the neighborhoods and helping assess damage in the area beginning Tuesday.
This organization consists of mainly retired veterans and first responders and has experience helping communities to stabilize and recover after a natural disaster. Rubicon volunteers will wear a grey T-shirt recognizing “Team Rubicon.”
To view the flooding on McKay Creek, the city of Pendleton has a drone flyover which may be accessed at https://pendleton.or.us/article/mckay-creek-flooding-2019.
The response team also announced it would sent out the next update Monday at 4 p.m.