These trees just east of Klamath River were surrounded by flood waters at a section of the river that covered the road during the worst of the December 31, 2005 flooding.
Also just east of Klamath River, the swollen river churned as it swiftly flowed west, filled with dirt and debris.
A Red Cross shelter at the Happy Camp elementary school was set up and maintained by Linda White, Morgan Caulfield, and other local volunteers.
Just west of Seiad Valley dozens of hitherto non-existant waterfalls cascaded from the mountains toward the Klamath River, adding to the flood.
Seiad Creek, usually a small, quiet tributary of the Klamath River, was so full it nearly reached the Highway 96 bridge that crosses it.
Too Much Water
January 2, 2006 - This New Year's Eve, the Klamath River Valley was inundated with far more rainwater than the river can hold.
On Friday, December 30, 2005 the Klamath River flooded low-lying areas of Highway 96 causing travelers to look for shelter in unexpected places. In Happy Camp a Red Cross shelter was set up at the local elementary school staffed by Linda White, Morgan Caulfield, and other volunteers. Displaced travelers were offered a hot meal, water, and a place to sleep.
Emergency services and law enforcement worked around the clock to take care of events which included multiple rockslides that closed local roads. Cal-Trans kept Highway 96 open as long as possible however deep water around Granite Point between Hamburg and Seiad Valley forced the closure of the Klamath River Highway at about 5pm on December 30.
Several cars ventured into deep water and stalled. Besides Granite Point, other flooded areas were between Hamburg and Horse Creek and on both sides of Klamath River.
Travelers whose car stalled in floodwater just east of Walker Creek Bridge had to wade out of the river in darkness to where other stranded motorists picked them up and took them to the church in Horse Creek. Mike Close, the new pastor there along with his wife Susan, gave shelter to five stranded Happy Campers and two travelers from Seiad Valley from Friday through Sunday.
Large-scale rockslides on China Grade Road closed that route entirely. Sergeant John Evans of Happy Camp's Sheriff sub-station took the Seiad Valley route to check on residents cut off by the rockslides. There are two families caught between the two slides, and three more homes further east between the slides and Seiad Valley.
As of January 2 the Red Cross shelter remains open at the elementary school although school is back in session. Another storm is expected and on Sunday night there was snow on Cade Mountain.
Though there was too much water in the river, there wasn't enough in storage for Happy Campers to use so the Community Services District had to put out posters asking local people to conserve on water usage. The tank on Elk Creek Road was half full and it was expected that more water would have to be pumped on Monday to avoid a shortage. As the water is normally pumped from beneath the creek bed and is naturally filtered, it was expected that contamination would not be a problem.
Now that floodwaters have receded slightly the Happy Camp River Access has a new coating of sand. We may now have a sandy beach instead of a rocky one. Stay tuned for photographs and more information. The Happy Camp News office is closed so our photographs can't be downloaded at this time.
Coleman 3-Room 8-Person Tent - 13x13'
Who needs a camper when you've got a Coleman tent? This spacious 3-room tent is perfect for families and sleeps up to 8. Room dividers turn unit into 3 rooms for privacy and organization. Main dome features 2 oversized doors meeting at a right angle, turning this room into a screened-in porch. Smaller sleeping domes attach to the other 2 walls. Ceiling vents provide air circulation throughout entire tent. Rainfly includes coverage of windows and doors. Also features carrying bag, 2 storage pockets, water-repellent thread, webbing and zippers, inverted seams with inside stitching, leakproof welded floor seam, polyurethane-coated fabric, shock-corded fiberglass poles, pole sleeves and frame clips. Sleeps 8. Blue and gray. 27 lbs. No. 9261C133D. Imported. 13'Lx13'Wx72" center height.
Wenger WG31209 Massif II 4-Room Radical Dome Tent
* Measures 18 by 18 by 7.6 feet (W x D x H)
* 4-room dome tent with 172 square feet of floor space
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* Includes mesh utility pockets, mud mat, and roll-top folding table
4-room radical dome tent made of polyester taffeta tent body and rip-stop design. Rainfly features double pass polyurethane coating. Polyethylene rip-stop floor.
Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25 Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25-Degree Tall Sleeping Bag is a comfortable three-season mummy-style sleeping bag. At 32-inches by 82-inches, the tall-size Taos fits most body types up to six-feet-two-inches long. With 38 ounces of Hollofil-808 insulation, this moderate-temperature sleeping bag keeps you warm in temperatures down to 25-degrees Fahrenheit. Features include a nylon cover with a nylon liner, and a stuff sack.
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K-Cliffs Harvest 7000 Cubic Inch Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
* 12"x15.5"x12" Lower compartment or sleeping bag compartment.
* 2 Zippered Side Compartments (9"x 5"x 4").
* Two waist level water bottle holders.
* Thoracic strap between shoulder straps.
* 10"x 10"x 5" Pocket in top cover.
7000 CUBIC INCHES OF PACK SPACE. Dimensions of Main and Lower Compartments - 39"x12"x15.5". The main compartment is top loading with a flap and top compartment that clip down over it. This includes three draw straps in front which allow for expansion. Lower area is accessible by an outside U-Zipper or by the main compartment from the top. Long-Distance padded shoulder and waist straps. Multiple adjustments on shoulder straps and waist straps allow you to choose a good fit for your back. Also - Shoulder straps can be disconnected at the center of the pack and moved up and down for proper adjustment. Total of 6 adjustments of 1.3" each. Air Flow Back pads for the maximum in comfort. Rear Gigantic ZIPPER acts to compress pack loads for greater stability and comfort. Side, Top, Middle and Bottom Compression straps for the most secure loading. Plenty of extra straps, bungee shock cord and loops for ice ax, walking stick, climbing gear or what have you. Already a popular pack in Asia, new to the US. Two Internal Frame Stays and flexible back panel for one of the most stable and comfortable frame and support systems available. All Stitching is folded and rolled for greatest durability (double stitched at critical points all around the pack ). Complete Rain Cover located in pocket on lower compartment. 100% Okbuybuy GUARANTEE.
Happy Camp After
The December 30 Flood
After the flooding receded in Happy Camp, the local river access seemed to be covered with a new sandy beach. Elk Creek Bridge is in the background.
Another view of the local river access toward a sign that was destroyed by the flooding.
A sign at the local river access and a box used by the forest service to provide rafting information were damaged by flood waters.
The forest service asks that their river access and campground outhouses not be entered or used until after they've been cleaned, if they've been near the flood waters.
When There's A Flood,
Put Safety First
Happy Camp's Communications and Safety Officer, Phil Weeks, offers the following tips for personal safety during the days following the flood:
- If power lines are down, don't attempt to touch them. Stay in your vehicle and don't touch metal. Phone Pacific Power for repair service. If unable to contact Pacific Power, contact the local fire department. If for some reason it is impossible to stay in your vehicle and you must leave the scene, keep your feet together and jump away from the area, don't walk.
- After previous floods human bones have been found. If you discover human remains, including bones, do not touch or move them. Phone the Sheriff's Office as there will need to be an investigation of any such finds.
- If you find barrels or boxes, don't open them. These too should be reported to the local fire department as they may contain dangerous materials such as poisons that have been disposed of then uncovered by the flooding.
- Do not go into Forest Service outhouses if they have been near the floodwaters. They need to be cleaned first.
- Stay away from the river as the riverbank, softened by floodwaters, can give way or trees could come down. Sinkholes could give way and small children could be lost in them. The riverbank may be undercut by floodwaters so while you think you're on stable ground, there could be little left there to support your weight.
- Stay out of the water as floating debris such as trees can cause injury.
- Do not drive into deep water. There is no way of knowing how deep the water will get before you reach the other end of the flooded area. Often cars stall in deep water.
More storms are coming in and while they're not expected to be as wet, temperatures are coming down and there may be snow. If there is more heavy rain after that, the river could flood again.
More On Safety
Near Flooded Creeks
The Sheriff's Office in Yreka sent these safety tips:
To help the public better understand the severity and danger involved with floods and high water, the following information can help protect citizens and possibly avert a tragic accident:
- Flooded creeks and streams are unpredictable. Even though the surface water may look fairly smooth, the water is moving very fast. There will be debris or garbage in the water. These items can easily injure or trap a person under water.
- Never let children play near streams or bodies of water when the water is rising or high. Swimming skills have nothing to do with surviving a flooded creek or stream.
- Even though the water on roads and bridges might look only inches deep, it could be much deeper and have strong currents. The condition the surface of the road or bridge hidden benearth the water will not be known.
- High water in streets and intersections will quickly stall motor vehicles. Most trucks, four-wheel drives and sport utility vehicles are also susceptible to being swept away by high water. Such vehicles often give motorists a false sense of security believing the vehicles are safe under any conditions.
- Flooded streams and rivers are not safe for recreational boating.
Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope w/I/R Illuminator
Scope things outóeven at nightówith the powerful, ergonomically-designed Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope. Infrared illuminator lets you use for night fishing, nature viewing, search and rescue, or general surveillance. Scope is compact, easy to operate and weather resistant and features a powerful 5x image magnification.
Garmin eTrex Summit GPS with Electronic Compass and Altimeter
The GPS for serious mountaineers and outdoor enthusiast has arrived. With a powerful twelve parallel channel receiver, it provides amazingly accurate bearing information as well as serving as an altimeter and electronic compass. Quickly and easily calculate your rate of climb to satisfy curiosity or help decide whether or not you have enough daylight for the return. Waterproof for marine and recreation use, its compact design allows you to take it with you anywhere and access information via the operating buttons located on both sides of the device. Precision GPS, electronic compass, and altimeter all in one 12 parallel channel receiver Designed for marine and recreational use Waterproof: submergible to 1 m. for 30 min. Compact design.
Bigfoot - DVD
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy
"This is a very good Bigfoot film and well worth your time and money." - Garry Daniel
Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization Binoculars w/Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
Whether you are sitting in the nose-bleeder seats of a stadium or an opera house, with Canon's 10x30 IS binoculars you'll get an outstanding close-up view of the action. The binoculars are designed to fit perfectly in your hands and have a rubber coating for nonslip grip and protection from damage. The focus dial is center-mounted and the image stabilizer controls are easily accessible from either hand. Canon's optical image stabilization technology eliminates shake and reduces curvature of field. The image stabilizer operates with two AA batteries. A BP-B1 battery pack is included. The lenses are coated with Super Spectra multicoating that improves image quality by maximizing contrast and minimizing color smear.
Scenic Byways of Northern California
By Marie Weisbrod
Visit the remote Northern California region from the Siskiyous to the Cascades. Meet the locals, learn the history, enjoy the landscape that includes whitewater rivers, old growth forests, and lava-strewn backcountry.
Wenger WG31210 Davos II 3-Pole Backpack Dome Tent
Lightweight and versatile, this three-pole dome tent from Wenger assembles in seconds thanks to its color-coded ping-and-ring attachment system. The tent's shock-corded fiberglass frame weighs a mere 9 pounds, 10 ounces--light enough for most hiking backpacks. Plus, two-door access and double roof vents, make this model far more versatile than other two- and three-person tents. The tent's sidewalls are made of polyester with a 600mm coating--which resists rain and dew--while the floor is made of durable nylon taffeta. For added convenience, the main circular door is designed to hinge to any side, letting campers find the setup that works best for them.
Other features include a gear/loft organizer, two mesh utility pockets for gear storage, and a flashlight loop. The tent comes with a 600D polyester zippered duffle bag for transport, along with pole and stake bags, and measures 8 by 7 by 4.3 feet (W x D x H).