EAGLE POINT, Ore. – A sump pump pulls stagnant water from beneath Eagle Point’s Reese Creek Christian Center. The pooled up water is visible through a small opening in the side of the raised building.
And while it started as a burst pipe, it was made worse by days of pouring rain.
“I’m just going to have to wait until I get it pumped and dried out and see if there is any damage,” said church treasurer Vickie Withrow.
The church is just one of a number of places impacted by the downpour, and that has people across the area rushing to prepare.
Eagle Point Hardware and Rental usually sells two or three sandbags a month, but in the past day-and-a-half they sold roughly 50. They say conditions like these are extremely rare.
“You see it about once every five or ten years that I’m familiar with,” said manager Mike Brown.
While residents work to protect their property, the Jackson County Roads Department is working overtime. During the height of the storm on Friday the department had nearly all of their 55 maintenance people out on the streets.
Some worked through the night, and six remained on duty Saturday morning.
“The term we use is chasing water,” said department director John Vial. “We’re running from one culvert, to the next culvert, to the next call, to the next call.”
They say other than clearing culverts and debris, there’s little they can do.
“If the culverts are clear, the ditches are cleaned, and we’re just running at capacity, there’s not a lot we can do other than put up some high water signs and ask people to drive carefully,” said Vial.
But while more rain lingers in the forecast, both hardware suppliers and roads crews say they aren’t seeing much damage, just prevention work.
The roads department says even though most of their maintenance crewmembers were able to stay home Saturday, they can be called in on a moment’s notice depending on weather conditions.