• Last modified 1079 days ago (June 30, 2021)


Storm erodes lake's dam

Staff writer

Last week’s heavy rain caused considerable damage to the dam at Marion County Park and Lake and led to frantic sandbagging in Peabody and Goessel.

Fixing six large washouts on the south side of the dam will be “a pretty big project,” lake superintendent Isaac Hett told county commissioners Monday.

“It’s from all the way from the side of the shop to the other end of the dam.” Hett said.

The county emergency manager and an engineer already have looked at the dam, Hett said. Repairs will begin after a plan is developed.

Hett said the dam appeared to be stable, but more rains could make the problem worse.

The storm also damaged trees. Most felled limbs have been cleaned up, he said.

Water ran over the lake’s low-water bridge until about 8 a.m. Saturday, then started going over the spillway.

Lake staff had to keep cleaning debris from the spillway.

More tree work is needed, Hett said.

Some roads in residential areas washed out. Staff will be hauling gravel to help residents repair them, Hett said.

County clerk Tina Spencer told Hett to photograph damage.

In Peabody, weekend flooding was worse than a flood two years ago, some residents said.

Both Goessel and Peabody residents sandbagged buildings, but water still seeped inside.

A Goessel woodpile floated down the Cottonwood River, which rose high enough to be level with the roadway.

Goessel’s power was out Friday evening for more than two hours, and grocery store employees mouthed, “We’re closed” through the glass doors to people wading through knee-deep water in the streets.

Peabody resident Pandea Smith said water began pouring onto Walnut St. as residents sandbagged.

“At the end of the street there is a big Dumpster, and by morning it was floating in the middle of the street,” she said.

Despite the efforts of dozens of volunteers, water flooded Smith’s basement to the top stair.

Water gushing from a storm drain washed the base out of a train track a few blocks to the south.

The carpets at Peabody Senior Center were soaked in water six inches deep, president Judy Mellott said.

The rugs were replaced after flooding in 2019. This time, the senior center had a team of volunteers who quickly attacked the mess with shop vacs, she said.

Mellott said the carpet would need to be shampooed and sanitized at a cost of $350 but would not need to be replaced.

Her priority is to restore meal service.

“There are people in Peabody who need those meals,” she said.

Carry-out meals will begin again Thursday.

Last modified June 30, 2021