Archive for September, 2013

Storm Report

September 30th, 2013

The rain and wind is dying down a bit after a series of storms over the weekend, setting records for September rainfall and wind speed all over the Northwest. The main impact from over the weekend is the closure of West Side Highway between Beacon Hill Road and Solomon Road, a closure that will remain in place until further notice. The highway was closed Saturday night, when water rushing from a damaged culvert had severely eroded the soil supporting the highway. The culvert had been targeted for repair this weekend, but the severe storms had prevented that work. Washington Department of Transportation engineers plan to assess the damage and will set a timeline for temporary repairs early this week. You’re advised to use I-5 as an alternate route. Several Kelso School bus routes are being adjusted as a result of the closure. Bus routes 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 will pick children up at their regular stops and regular times, but because of the re-routing, they will arrive at school late. This afternoon, expect those same kids to be home late, but they will be delivered to their regular stops.

The Cowlitz PUD continues to work on power outages that were caused by the wind and rains. As of about 9 pm last night, a total of 3,140 PUD customers had lost power, and crews worked through the night to get power restored. As of 7 am, most of the major outages had been dealt with, including a difficult situation out in the Ryderwood area. Repairs on that “cross-country line” had to be delayed, because it was too dangerous to deal with. Other areas that had been affected included downtown Castle Rock, Pleasant Hill Road, Holcomb Acres, Ostrander, Silver Lake Acres, South Kelso, Sightly Road and Ryderwood. There was another round of problems in the Silver Lake area early this morning, after additional tree falls were reported. The latest problem was up on Beebe Road, affecting 250 customers going up to the Cowlitz-Lewis County line; crews are working to complete those repairs at this time.

The latest 48-hour rainfall total in Kelso is reported at 2.79 inches, with a peak wind gust of 41 miles an hour. Castle Rock had 3.62 inches of rain over the past 48 hours; a peak gust of 35 miles an hour was reported in Lexington at about 6:45 last night. Astoria had more than 3.5 inches of rain on Saturday, breaking a record from 1893. Naselle had a peak wind gust of 81 miles an hour, and a flood warning remains in effect for the Grays River near Rosburg. As of 3 am today, the river was two feet over the flood stage of 12 feet, with only minor flooding expected. The river crested last night at 15 feet, and is expected to continue receding over the next few hours.

Kayaking Death

September 30th, 2013

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office says that Thad Roberts, 32, of Kelso is missing and presumed drowned after a kayaking mishap in the Lewis River. Friends who had been salmon fishing with Roberts reported him as missing at about 10 pm on Saturday, saying that he got separated from them near the Cedar Creek Boat Ramp on Etna Road. Cowlitz County Deputies, the Marine Patrol and Clark County Fire Rescue started searching the river, and found his kayak about three-quarters of a mile downstream from where he was reported as missing. It’s noted that a personal flotation device was found with the boat, so it’s assumed that he was not wearing a life jacket. The search continued for several hours, then resumed on Sunday, without success. Authorities will meet this morning to discuss next steps, but it’s also noted that the Lewis River has risen more than five feet since the time that Roberts was first reported as missing.

Missing Hiker

September 30th, 2013

Searchers plan to meet this morning in Skamania County, resuming a search for a missing hiker. Early yesterday morning, Washington Emergency Management called for ground searchers to help with an effort to find a 30 year-old man reported as missing in the Goose Lake area; he had been with a group that was searching for caves, and got separated from that group. A day of ground searching conducted yesterday was unsuccessful; the effort is scheduled to resume at 8 am today, using ground searchers, 4×4 teams and air scent dogs.

Vancouver Stabbing

September 30th, 2013

Neal Cedric Kelly, 26, of Woodland is in the Clark County Jail on a first-degree murder charge, accused of stabbing a Vancouver woman to death Saturday night. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says that this got started around 4 am on Saturday, when a disturbance was reported at a home on Northeast 89th, off of Padden Parkway and I-205. When Deputies arrived, a man who had been outside of the house ran inside; Deputies pursued the man and fought with him for some time. Inside the house, they found two people with stab wounds; Jennie Brill, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Sterling Shaver, 42, was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in critical condition. Kelly is now being held without bail on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault. The scene of the killing is known to law enforcement, having been the subject of a drug raid earlier this year. A large amount and variety of illegal drugs were seized at that time.

Water Flushing

September 30th, 2013

Flushing of water pipes in Longview’s “Area 1” continues tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday. This is the area of town between Industrial Way and Nichols Boulevard, going from Oregon Way to Washington Way. Work is planned from 8 pm to 11:30 pm each night. If you live in this area, be sure to flush your pipes after the work is done, to make sure that sediment is out of your own plumbing. Call the City of Longview at 442-5700 if you have other questions.

Kelso Street Work

September 30th, 2013

A couple of projects scheduled to start today in Kelso could cause you some driving issues. Anderson Environmental Contracting of Kelso is scheduled to start the soil remediation project at the old Terry’s Auto Salvage Yard property. This work is scheduled to be done during daylight hours, and should run through the 18th of next month. This project will involve the removal of contaminated soil, along with replacement with clean soil, re-seeding and replacement of the existing fence. There could be some traffic disruptions on North Pacific Avenue and on Redpath Street. Detours will be posted, and efforts will be made to maintain access for local residents.

Also starting today, Brookhart Excavation of Longview is scheduled to start on a waterline replacement project along the downhill segment of Sunrise Street, the dead-end stub coming off of Minor Road and 13th Street. Inspection, marking and other prep work has already begun, and now the main portion of the project is set to get under way. Detours may be posted at time, and there will also be specific dates when streets will need to be cleared. Door knob hangers and street signs will be posted prior to those closures, so local residents have time to get their vehicles off of the street. Call Kelso Community Development at 423-6590 if you have questions about either of these projects.

KLOG Monday Sports

September 30th, 2013

The Seahawks rallied from down 20-3 at halftime to beat the Houston Texans 23-20 in overtime. Richard Sherman’s interception return tied it up late in the 4th quarter, then Steven Haushka’s field goal in OT won it. The Hawks are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. The Hawks travel to Indianapolis next Sunday…..The Mariners season is over after a 9-0 loss to the Oakland A’s. The M’s now begin the search for a new manager after Eric Wedge stepped away…..The Portland Trail Blazers host Media Day today. Training camp begins tomorrow…..In boys golf today, Mark Morris is at Washougal and R.A. Long at Battle Ground…..Ridgefield is at Woodland in volleyball tonight.

Water Complaints

September 27th, 2013

Ongoing water problems in an area of the Highlands has the Longview City Council looking for some immediate action on the issue. For about 45 minutes at last night’s meeting, several citizens aired their complaints about the water coming into their homes, discussing issues with discoloration, smell, and damage to their homes. Jane Matthews spoke at length with the Council, showing a stained bedspread as part of the evidence of the damage that’s being done. Other citizens talked about the problems they’re having, including issues with rust, damage to appliances, and increasing health problems. Mayor Don Jensen and other Council members say that they’re “awed” by the magnitude of the problems, and say that it simply cannot continue. Public Works officials speculate that the reversal of the city’s water flow is causing built-up sediments to break up inside water supply pipes, which are then carried into homes. The worst problems seem to be in an area of about 27 blocks, going from 16th to 24th, from Nichols to Beech Street. The City Council is directing staff to have some answers at a workshop that’s planned for next Thursday; the city is also trying to keep citizens apprised of their efforts with updates on the City of Longview website.

Pipe Flushing

September 27th, 2013

The City of Longview continues its water-flushing schedule, working next week in “Area #1,” an area bordered by Industrial Way, Nichols Boulevard and Oregon Way. Work is scheduld Sunday through Wednesday of next week, going from 8 to 11:30 pm each night. Advisory signs will be posted; people in the area affected are advised to flush their pipes prior to using the water for cooking, washing or drinking.

Storm A-Brewin’

September 27th, 2013

The Weather Service says that you need to be ready for a wet and windy weekend as a “potent” storm system settles in off of the British Columbia coast. Forecasters say that this is an unusual storm for September, and has the potential to set records for rainfall totals. The first batch of rain is expected to arrive this afternoon, dumping up to two inches of rain by tomorrow morning. Tomorrow through Monday, the jet stream is expected to sage to the south, bringing a second wave of rain to the area by tomorrow afternoon. This will be the remnants of a typhoon that raked the east coast of Japan. They say that up to 10 inches of rain could come out of this system in the South Washington Cascades; the area near the mouth of the Columbia could see up to 6 inches of rain, and this area could get up to 3-point-5 inches. In addition, wind gusts of at least 55 miles an hour are possible at the coast; inland, gust of 35 to 45 miles an hour are possible. The exact track of the storm isn’t yet known, but they’re advising you to be prepared for the possibility of extreme weather, localized flooding and possible power outages.