DRYING OUT--Wow, was that a wild weekend or what? Just when you thought the rain would slow down, it started back up and boy, oh boy, it did not take long for the "lakes" to appear and spill over onto our roadways, which caused some of the usual road closures in our area. However, the big thing comes when the water starts to scour out from under the roadways as you never know when you go through the standing water, whether the pavement has any support under it. I'm not sure what the total amount of rain was, but in one 24 hour period, there was 4.4 inches recorded and that was before we got "really" wet!
One major problem was Oatfield Road at the end of Middle Valley. It dropped three feet according to Lee Tischer and is now closed, so this massive amount of rain can cause damages whether it's going over the road, or cutting the fill under the road or a slide comes down and washes things away. Water is a powerful force and deserves to be viewed with great respect and also with extreme caution.
With the water rising a few of us opted to take some preventative measures at the fairgrounds and the grange hall, as while the water levels in the creek looked okay, that area is also affected by a back dike and if that is breached, we are in trouble. Once a dike gives way, there's absolutely no time to get in and save anything. It's much better to err on the side of caution. We really appreciate those that took the time to put things up, just in case! Kudos to Becky Ledtke and crew for keeping a close eye on things at the fairgrounds and trying to take some major preventative steps to avoid having perfectly good items being ruined yet again.
One of the problems we have down here is that people want to drive on top of the dikes in order to view the tide gates; if they get stuck or slip and slide and take the sod off the top of the dike, it causes a weak spot for water to erode the dike and cause it to give way. It's really not a place for anything but a quad or other like vehicle, as they can come and go without causing any further problems. It's just one of those little things that can lead to big problems later on. This time, we were lucky and all went well but the winter rains aren't over and spring can be just as wet, so let's hope we can escape any major flooding due to dike failure!
I heard that several basements were flooding in Cathlamet, so even if you lived up on a hill and not in our lowlands, you may have been dealing with some serious water issues. Don't let anybody minimize the danger of a little water damage. It can be devastating in the long run and the stress and strain of it all is no laughing matter either.
The home of Roger Davis, on East SR 4, suddenly had a chunk of its back yard fall away to the river, so once again, the hill areas are being adversely affected by all this rain as well as those closer to the creeks and rivers. Even homes with no previous problems may suddenly have to deal with some serious land or home damage. Roger, we're thinking of you as you deal with this very scary incident and property loss. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of what could be a long winter and wet spring as well. Hope we can all stay afloat until summer arrives!
SPECIAL DAYS--Those celebrating birthdays from January 20-26 are Ann Brown, Jolene Wright, Sharon Schmitz, Laura Bennett, Kaylyn Kaattari, Sharon Buennagel, Trinity Thompson, Leslie Sullivan, Shirley Mae Toney, Elizabeth Frink, Todd Davis, Sherry Ostling, Inez Danielsen, Wayne Cochran, Margie Moore, Shanna Havens, Tim Hanigan, Cindi Pedersen and R. Marshall Everest. I hope you all have marvelous birthdays!
Did you have a new child or grandchild this past year or a wedding in the family and you want it listed? Give me a call and I'll get it on my list! Didn't see it listed? Call me and remind me; I'm making new lists and trying to get better organized so I don't miss anybody but things happen, so just contact me. Remember, my deadline is Monday.
CLASSES--Do you like to make cards, scrapbook, etc....or do you want to learn? Head to the 'Tis the Season shop in Cathlamet on Main Street and check out their classes. They have just 10 spots open per class, so call today, 795-8900.
END OF MONTH--Did you get the corrected time for the Old Time Loggers Reunion on January 29? It is at Appelo's Archive Center in Naselle from noon to 4 p.m., with the celebration of Howard Nelson's 80th birthday. For more details, email email@example.com or call 360-484-7103.
REDMEN HALL--I got a nice email from Jill Hatier telling of the upcoming new exhibit at Redmen Hall beginning February 5 and lasting for the next six weeks. This new display features our very own local artist, and true treasure, Dory Hicks. You may be able to help with this exhibit, as the hall is looking for those who have any of her paintings or anything else that she made, to put on display. Only Dory's coloring books will be for sale, and with all of your things being tagged with your name and info and stating that it was only on loan, it would be in good hands. It seems Dory made some little boxes with which to collect contributions for Redmen Hall, way back when, and if you had one of those, the hall would sure like to display it. Call Jill at 795-8675.
COMING UP: WFR--A five day "Wilderness First Responder" course is going to be offered by sponsor, Columbia River Kayaking, LLC February 24-28, and if you'd like to enroll, contact Mark Whitaker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-849-4016. Instructors for the five day course are Bradford Sablosky and Darren Stokes, both WEMT's of Colorado. This course provides medical training for outdoor educators and provides information on how to assess and manage medical problems in the field and much more. You must be at least 18 to enroll. For further information call Mark or check out their website: www.columbiariverkayaking.com or www.wildmed.com/courses.
COOL TIME--I'm not sure if the chilly temperatures made them practice harder or longer, but the WAGS (Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society) endured a nippy 42 degrees inside the grange hall when they practiced recently, so I'll give them an A for being determined to practice no matter what. This may also have been the reason they so nicely donated some money to the grange for furnace repairs and fuel costs, as I'm sure they will enjoy a much more pleasant practice experience when the heat gets back on in the grange hall. Thank you so much to all the members of WAGS--you're great!
As of this writing, we're still waiting for parts for our furnace, but we're hoping things get back to working order shortly, as our next grange meeting is supposed to be January 24, but it will be held elsewhere if need be. A note will be posted on the grange hall as to the new location if deemed necessary. If you are reading this, our secondary meeting place will be at the Twin Gables B&B owned by Kathleen and Stevan Morgain.
30 YEARS--Kayrene Gilbertsen is looking for some "gung-ho" volunteers in the various groups in the area, to help celebrate Skamokawa Vista Park's 30th anniversary. Do you have any ideas for a good time at the park? What about a preferred time for this event? We were thinking booths for folks to show off their various talents, like their home-made crafts and art such as soaps, jewelry, candles, food items, glass ware, or authors with their latest books. If you have an item that you can sell, this would be a great time to pop up a tent or set up a table.Musicians could take turns performing and we know we have a lot of those in our area, so we hope we can get some of them involved. We do have some time issues, as many folks are busy with other events. We'll have to find a time that would work for most of those wishing to be involved. Give Kayrene a call at 849-4421 if you'd like to get in on the action or share your ideas.