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Klamath responders work into the night to fix breach in Klamath Lake levee

A mix of first responders, volunteers and local homeowners pitched in to fill a breach in the levee separating Klamath Lake from Lakeshore Drive.

Posted: Jun 5, 2019 10:40 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2019 10:44 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A mixed group of first responders, volunteers and local homeowners worked through Tuesday afternoon and into the night in an effort to plug a breach in the levee between Klamath Lake and an area of Lakeshore Drive, according to the Klamath County Sheriff's Office (KCSO).

A homeowner discovered the breach late Tuesday afternoon, calling for help to fill the "large crater" with sandbags. Together, people filled, transported and placed sandbags to keep lake water from washing out the levee breach; also going door-to-door in an effort to notify people living in the area.

The levee held through the night, and KCSO said that crews will be working Wednesday with heavy equipment to fully repair the levee with sand and rock.

“Our trained volunteer programs are absolutely vital to the success of disaster response operations in Klamath County,” said Emergency Manager Morgan Lindsay.

Volunteers in the team effort hailed from the Sheriff's Office, Emergency Management, Public Works, Klamath County Fire District 1, the City of Klamath Falls, and others from the Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, Dive Rescue, and Community Emergency Response Teams.

"While this levee is owned and maintained by a local special district comprised of the area’s homeowners, the Klamath County Board of Commissioners assessed the situation and authorized the county’s response," KCSO said.

According to the agency, a small budget and aging infrastructure have delayed much-needed repairs by the special district. Following the night's work, private contractors and homeowners will be working on a more permanent fix.

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