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Posts Tagged ‘Port of Port Orford’

We’ve had two whopper storms to kick off the winter rainy season.

The first, October 25, brought sheeting rain, unbelievable wind and waves. The Port of Port Orford, which we visited in the morning, had, by afternoon, sustained heavy damage, in the end estimated at over $1 million.

The Port 10/25 courtesy of Melissa Campbell

The Port 10/25
courtesy of Melissa Campbell

No people or fishing vessels were lost but a fish processing building went over the edge taking numerous fish storage tanks along, the Port office had 18” of water, waves topped the rock jetty damaging it, and one side of Griff’s, a seafood restaurant on the dock, was pushed out.

Griff's, two days later

Griff’s, two days later

Port, 10/28

Port, 10/28

The surf was amazing, totally covering the port beach and the wind was so strong our 10-year-old grandson had to run to stay in place at the overlook. The pelicans and seagulls came onshore en masse and hunkered down to wait it out on the headlands.

pelicans

pelicans

Gulls and Pelicans

Gulls and Pelicans

The second storm, which hit Port Orford Friday managed to tip over half a trailer home on Highway 101 just where it enters Port Orford from the south. (I guess those high profile vehicle warnings on the weather went unheard or were ignored. They were predicting 70 mph gusts!) The wind and rain was hard enough to wake me up Friday night but by Saturday all was just a passing memory.

Today, the sun is shining. And the streets are dry. No one can say the weather around here isn’t dramatic.

blown over trailer house

blown over trailer house

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Over the last month since we’ve returned to Port Orford, I’ve asked folks “so what’s new?” Although I heard many tales  not one person mentioned dredging. (See: https://wanderwest.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/plus-ca-la-change/)

In fact, according to new Port Manager Steve Courtier, a small dredging project was undertaken in May followed by the full scale dredging taking place right now—the result of the September 2013 agreement between the state and the Corps summarized at: https://wanderwest.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/looks-like-were-going-to-see-the-port-put-back-in-port-orford/

First Day Dredging

First Day Dredging

This apparent lack of interest in such an important Port Orford happening seems baffling. Remember the 2012 “Put the Port Back in Port Orford!” campaign calling attention to its ongoing shoaling problem? People with buckets, wheelbarrows and shovels, hit the beach at low tide and “dug out” a mock channel. Fishermen talked of using their boats’ propellers to churn away sediment. Grim predictions of the port’s demise were heard around town.

But now in August, 2014 a Corps-contracted dredge has arrived. It began scooping spoils mid-afternoon on Sunday July 27th, after leaving its previous mid-July job at the mouth of the Rogue. HME Construction’s dredge is working round the clock and is expected to complete the dredging ahead of schedule! So, we’re getting the dredging, 40,000 cubic yards of spoils removed in record time. And, according Courtier, the Port’s also gotten a grant and is in the process of purchasing a pump, pipes and generator which will be shared with Brookings and others for remedial dredging work. It also appears the Corps has re-committed to dredging Oregon’s small ports into the future. It sounds like a win-win-win for Port Orford to me.

So where’s the town-wide celebration I would have expected? Maybe last Saturday’s Blessing of the Fleet extended to HME’s dredge. At any rate, it looks like the Port really has been put back in Port Orford. And hooray for that!

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5, 2014

August 5 2014

August 5 2014

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