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County road flood damage estimated at $25 million

Bingham Road during the flood. (Photo by Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office)

PENDLETON, Oregon – Umatilla County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Shafer says recovery from the flood damages will not be a quick process.

“It’s going to take a long while,” he said. “Just the county roads, we’re looking at about $25 million in damages, and that includes the bridges that are knocked out as well.”

The county maintains some roads on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Shafer said those roads need a large amount of work, especially the bridge at Thorn Hollow.

“That’s one of their main thoroughfares for the reservation, and that’s going to be a $5 million fix – just that one bridge alone,” Shafer said.

The Umatilla County Emergency Operations Center has transitioned into recovery operations and reduced staff. The center’s phone will no longer be staffed. People in need of assistance should contact CAPECO at 541-276-1926, or for immediate needs like food and clothing, the American Red Cross at 541-215-2908.

The Mill Creek area remains closed on the Oregon side, but work continues, and a reopening is anticipated Friday. Walla Walla River Road is only open to local residents and emergency personnel. Bingham Road and other roads along the Umatilla River are opened up to Meacham Creek. Cayuse Road is open to Thorn Hollow.

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