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Anatomy of the Flood posted on 02/02/2011
Jan. 14-15 — Unseasonably warm temperatures and heavy rain at high elevations cause the Sandy and Salmon Rivers to rise dramatically.

Jan. 16 — At noon, Hoodland Fire District sets up emergency operations, reporting there have been evacuations in the Hoodland area. At 3:45 p.m. HFD reports several homes in the area as well as the Government Camp fire station are being impacted by flooding issues. Voluntary evacuations are taking place along the Sandy and Salmon Rivers. A sandbag station has been established. HFD reports Lolo Pass Road is out. At 7:17 p.m. Red Cross disaster volunteers assisting six families evacuated due to the rising Sandy River, providing lodging and emergency needs. HFD is assisting stranded families with a shelter at Mt. Hood Lions Club. County reports a raw sewage spill into the Sandy River at Timberline Rim due to a forced shut down of the pump station.

Jan. 17 — At 2:22 p.m., Zigzag River Bridge closed to all traffic due to safety concerns. Crews are working on clearing a path through Barlow Trail to a closed section of Lolo Pass Road.

Jan. 18 — At 4 p.m. Red Cross opens a shelter at Camp Arrah Wanna.  Mountain Express starts shuttle bus system between Barlow Trail and Lolo Pass Road to the Hoodland Shopping Center. County Commissioners meet to discuss signing an emergency declaration. It is reported that 75 families have been evacuated and three homes are destroyed. Sandy River crested at 21.84 feet, flood stage is 19.3.

Jan. 19 —
PGE crews begin work on restoring power. It is confirmed the Sandy River charted a new course and Lolo Pass Road is still closed north of Barlow Trail due to the washout. Road workers are on scene. Pump station at Timberline Rim restored.

Jan. 20 — County declares a state of emergency for the Hoodland area. Red Cross places an emergency response vehicle at Lolo Pass trail head, providing meals, beverages, batteries, water and comfort kits. At 5:38 p.m. PGE restored power along Lolo Pass Road. HFD continues to conduct welfare checks in the area.

Jan. 21 —
It is announced work will begin on a temporary road for Lolo Pass. It is expected to take 2 to 3 weeks to complete. Rerouting of Sandy River underway.

Jan. 25 — At 6 p.m. the portion of Lolo Pass Road that was washed away opened to traffic. Zigzag Bridge remains closed. Bridge repairs started and will continue for at least two weeks.

Jan 26 — Damage estimated at $4.1 million, but Hoodland area will not meet the federal threshold for federal assistance.

Jan. 27 — County emergency declaration in place from Feb. 1 to Feb. 21. HFD, Konell Construction and Turin & Sons praised by county. Rivers have receded, but we are changed.

by Larry Berteau/MT

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