WALDPORT — The residential lot located at the intersection of Range Drive and Tara Lane in Waldport was cleared in 2019 of all grasses and plants, as well as most trees. There were no visible water management or erosion control efforts observed until the culvert that runs under Range Drive was blocked, the lot and Tara Lane flooding for a second time on Jan. 8.
The lot first flooded on Dec. 21, threatening Range Drive and leaving more than a foot of water standing in the low part of Tara Lane. City of Waldport crews worked on Saturday, Dec. 22, to clear the obstructed culvert.
Before a permanent solution could be implemented, water was again standing across Tara Lane and inching up to Range Drive on Tuesday, Jan. 7, covering more than half of the lot.
“The water is coming from the county. Range Drive is in the city,” clarified Waldport Public Works Director Scott Andry. However, he added, “If that water floods in and the road deteriorates, that becomes our issue.”
Andry said he didn’t think the owner of the property anticipated the issues that ended up happening, and the owner has tried to figure out how to fix it.
“When it flooded in this last time, he checked with me and asked if it was OK to run a line across the road because that’s the only way to get the water out of there,” Andry said of the rising water. “So he rented a pump. We did go down and help him unload it because it’s really heavy.”
Mostly drained by Wednesday morning, Jan. 8, some effort was made to stop sediment from washing away with plastic material placed on the lot.
“We’re doing our best to figure out how to make this work for everybody,” Andry explained. “We’re doing probably more than we normally would do in a situation like this.”
Lincoln County Public Works Director Roy Kinion explained that Tara Lane, while located in Lincoln County, is a private road, and Lincoln County is not responsible for maintenance.
Onno Husing, director of planning and development for the county, said that in Lincoln County, in the unincorporated areas, there are no grading and erosion control ordinances.
“We don’t have, for most residential development, ordinance related to ground disturbance,” said Husing. “People need to use common sense,” he qualified, stating that if parties are injured by the altered course of water flow would, it would be a civil matter.
Andry said, “Assisting that property owner in figuring out a really good drainage system for that corner does benefit the city. It does benefit the city to spend the man-hours to assist the property owner.”