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Bald Hills drivers should prepare NOW for winter flooding

Map of Thurston County’s Weyerhaeuser Truck Line

As we approach the cold and wet rainiest season in this area, I turned to Andrew J. Kinney, Thurston County Emergency Management Coordinator for some counsel regarding the use of the Weyerhaeuser 1,000 Road if Bald Hills Rd. is closed. His response is as follows:

“In an emergency, response and recovery starts with every individual. The key points of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Weyerhaeuser and Thurston County Emergency Management are:

– It is the responsibility of the public to have developed appropriate emergency plans for their personal care and safety in the event of a disaster and isolation of their community. For assistance in development of personal and community emergency plans, please visit the Thurston County Emergency Management website at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/em, see the links at the bottom of the website main page and/or go to www.ready.gov.

– It is understood by all parties that this MOU would be activated only in the event of a declared disaster (i.e., flooding, earthquake, and wind storm) by Thurston County that would isolate the Clear Lake and surrounding community for greater than 24 hours. This means that both Neat Road SE AND Bald Hill Road would have to be closed. Flooding on the Deschutes alone would not activate the MOU. Flooding or other activity would have to close Bald Hill Road also.

– Weyerhaeuser will inspect the Truck Line Road as soon as possible when it is safe and practical after the immediate danger of the disaster or incident is past and will notify Thurston County Emergency Management of its determination. The Truck Line Road is also vulnerable to flooding, landslides, and falling timber and will need to be determined fit for use.

– All other Weyerhaeuser roads will remain closed and off limits to the public during the disaster or incident.

– In the event of wild land fire, any of the following organizations can open the Truck Line Road for emergency evacuation of the Clear Lake community Weyerhaeuser, WA Department of Natural Resource, Thurston County Sheriffs Office, Thurston County Public Words – Roads Operations Division, and the Bald Hills Fire District #17. These organizations are authorized to do so at their discretion and have appropriate keys.

– This MOU does not apply to emergency and emergency support vehicles. The appropriate Emergency Response organizations have been issued gate keys for access to the Truck Line Road to be used under their own discretion for the emergency to which they are responding.”

– Thurston County also uses Facebook and Twitter to provide notifications. Citizens can click on the Emergency Management webpage and register to receive alerts and notifications. www.co.thurston.wa.us/em/index.htm

– Thurston County’s Flood Information & Assistance is accessed here:

– Bald Hills Fire District #17 Commissioner Bill Owen adds this advice:
Do not attempt to drive across a flooded road, no matter how shallow you think the waters may be. Often times the water is deep and swift, where misjudging the situation can create danger for you and those in your care.
The Bald Hills Fire Dept. is not equipped to handle a swift water rescue.

Local residents be aware!

Posted by Steve on November 15, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

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