Last fall the Hood River experienced massive flooding. It rained for days and days, snow melted, glaciers collapsed, boulders tumbled, dams burst and…well you get the idea. Hood River county ended up having the biggest flood losses in the state. It was massive flooding, with that came a lot of debris in and along the river. Now you might expect trees and wood, but we’re talking metal grates, cars, and the many random pieces of ‘stuff’.
Most of the random pieces have been addressed by local property owners picking up after the receding waters. Still there were the many large chunks of debris that were not being addressed. At low water, aside from being garbage in the river, are more an eyesore than a hazard. But once our water rises again this fall, these pieces create an awful and dangerous hazard on this popular kayaking run.
Steve Stampflield, Coordinator of Hood River Watershed Group, started working with Pacific Corps to address some of the debris removal. Pacific Corps decided to donate the use of a helicopter to lift large debris from the Hood River. Some of the large debris needed to be accessed via Kayak. So Steve teamed up with Kayak Shed’s John Hart - that’s me (In the Jackson Mega Rocker)– along with Farmers Irrigation District which supplied ropes cable and great support. We ended up connecting a rope and cable to one of the more difficult pieces so that next month the whole grate will be lifted out by a helicopter.
Yep it was fun. Even though it was a hot day I was glad I had my Kokatat drysuit on. The Rock the steel is wrapped on is actually a great surf wave when the water is high. So, you can see how dangerous the grate could have been / was.
Thanks to Kirby Neumann-Rae from the Hood River News for the photos!
Thanks for reading, John