Orofino,Idaho-Window on the Clearwater
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NWS-Missoula cancels Flood Watch, Weippe situation updated

National Weather Service-Missoula has cancelled the Flood Watch for Clearwater County that was forecast to last until Tuesday morning.

Precipitation within the watch area has shown steady signs of decreasing coverage and intensity Monday evening and will continue to follow this trend overnight. Additionally, temperatures will continue to cool and snow levels lower which will effectively bring an end to on going snow melt across the lower elevations. With these things considered, no additional flooding is anticipated overnight and the watch has been cancelled.

Small streams, creeks and culverts will, however, likely run high overnight and into Tuesday, but these have likely reached their peak and will be in steady decline through Tuesday.

Clearwater County Emergency Management Coordinator Don Gardner said that water was up to one house in Weippe from the flooding of Fords Creek. There were also reports of water over the road from Grasshopper Creek.

Weippe Rural Fire Department personnel and volunteers from town have been sandbagging since early Monday morning, according to Weippe Fire Chief Carlile Cahala. They sandbagged around two residences on S. Main St. where water was surrounding them. He said he did not think there was damage inside the homes belonging to Mike and Nancy Umphenour and their neighbor.

Sandbags were also placed on Big Horn Dr. and Lackey Rd. where Grasshopper Creek was coming over the roadway. The could not sandbag the bridge on S. Main because it would have backed up the water to everything upstream, so there is some water over the road.

Cahala said both Grasshopper and Fords creeks are higher than they were during the 1996 flooding.

Near Orofino, the usual areas around Noah's Bridge on Orofino Creek (along Harmony Heights Loop) are experiencing some minor flooding issues. He expected the creek might go up another inch during the evening, but with the decline in precipitation would stabilize.

The Clearwater River while running high, muddy and littered with debris is not an issue, though people should not go into it and use due caution around it.

The Clearwater River at Orofino was at 12.16 feet at 8:15 p.m. and is now expected to crest at 12.91 feet around 12:91 feet about noon Tuesday, according to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service in Portland, OR. Action stage is 16 feet and flood stage is 17 feet.

Orofino Creek near Orofino was at 4.8 feet at 6:15 p.m. Action stage is 6 feet and flood stage 8.5 feet, though some low lying properties around Noah's Bridge on Harmony Heights Loop have flooding issues much earlier than 8.5 feet.


Please support the community and your schools on March 11
Vote Yes on
Maintenance and Operating Levy

The current Maintenance and Operating Levy is $2,285,000 and accounts for nearly 29% of the districts revenue.

Passage of this levy will leave the Maintenance and Operating Levy
at the same amount for two additional years.

State funding for the district's schools has declined by $2,164,831 since 2007! District budgets have been reduced by $1,179,000 the balance was approved in M & O levies by local voters.

School Facility Plant Levy

The School Facilities Plant Levy is for $100,000 per year, approximately 20 cents per thousand of taxable value, and will run for ten years. State Law requires that funds from a School Facility Plant Levy (SFPL) be used for "health and safety" purposes. Expenditures will be budgeted on a separate line as required by State Code to assure citizens that funds are spent appropriately.

The SFPL will be used as collateral to borrow funds for modernizing the heating systems and windows in your schools. Upgrades will take place this summer, savings will begin in the fall, and the repairs will be paid for over the next ten years.

All expenditures from this levy will be spent on projects which are designed to save taxpayers/district money in the future. New double pane windows in the schools will reduce heat loss and improve summer cooling by eliminating UV radiation.

New high efficiency Heat Pumps at OHS and Timberline will provide significant energy cost reduction. Energy costs at OHS and Timberline have averaged $162,654 each of past three years.

Failure to maintain district facilities is short-sighted and not cost effective. The School Facility Plant Levy addresses this issue in greater detail. The old Orofino Junior High is testament to the failure to maintain our buildings.

Levies Not co-dependent!

The two levies are not dependent upon each other. The School Facility Plant Levy (SFPL) will be used to save energy costs while upgrading the districts buildings. The SFPL simply allows the district to finance upgrades which will result in immediate savings starting next fall.

The Maintenance and Operations Levy provides funding for staff and programs within your school district.

The Maintenance and Operations levy maintains the current funding level and taxes for the next two years, guaranteeing that local funding for operation of the district will be at the same level for three years.

Paid for by Superintendent Robert Vian, if you have questions call 476-5593 or email at vianr@sd171.k12.id.us

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Phone: (208) 476-0733
Fax: (208) 476-4140
Email