LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Some Thoughts about the Flooding on North Main/Hwy. 101, Tillamook


I lived on North Main (Hwy 101) and the Doughty slough for 5 years. I have watched the water, cleaned up the mess and spent countless hours watching listening and learning about the flooding in Tillamook. Although I have only lived here 21 years, I missed the Big one by just a few years. These are some of my thoughts, from experience:
– When we have snow in the Hills, and then a rain and melt, with high Tides a storm with wind event, there is nothing to stop the enviable, its gonna get deep.
– We live in a tidal basin, we have 5 rivers flowing out of our beautiful mountains , have built bridges to cross them and houses next to them, and we built a highway that works like a dam from the North and South, with not many culverts… 101 slows the flow into the bay.
– We live in a tidal basin, you can dig the hole deeper(dredge) but as in a basin it can only drain so fast, so dredging is a waste of energy to mitigate the problem.

I am still very much left scratching my head as to why, our commercial district was given the green light to build on the north end of town, although no where is really safe from the high water events, my personal thoughts are the port of Tillamook Bay would have been a better option. Even though we have the Trask river to contend with on that end of the Valley.
Robys, Grocery Outlet, and Dutch Brothers should have never been built in the flood plain, the flood mitigation for their paved parking lots is a travesty, water into ground absorption must not have been taken into consideration, and the water displaced by the raising of the ground around Robys, should make things different then they were in past events… considering they removed Safeway and tore up the parking lot..

I always wondered why, the few of us that lived in the flood zone were never even asked how the water moved.
Dredging, building levies, flood gates and berming are all a waste of energy — you are never gonna change Mother Nature, and the power of water….

I would like to thank our former County commissioners for the raising of the Wilson River Loop. It has been money well spent, it has been a lifeline, very much needed to keep the north and south traffic moving, without our bridges over nothing, we would be “dead in the water” so to speak.. I also have thought that a commuter type train to move us north to south on the railroad tracks we have, would also help in this kind of event… Sad the port of Tillamook decided to end rail service and used the FEMA money elsewhere.

Kendra Hall
Nehalem, OR