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A breach was discovered by a homeowner in a levee between Lakeshore Drive and Klamath Lake late Tuesday afternoon, June 4. Responders, volunteers, and homeowners worked to fill the large crater with sandbags, concluding operations just before dark. The levee held overnight and additional crews will be working today with heavy equipment, sand, and rock to fully repair the levee.

Responders consisted of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, and Public Works; Klamath County Fire District 1; the City of Klamath Falls Public Works and Police Departments; and volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Dive Rescue, and Community Emergency Response Teams. Personnel filled, transported, and placed sandbags to stop lake water from further washing out the large crater in the levee, and also went door to door to notify potentially affected residents. “Our trained volunteer programs are absolutely vital to the success of disaster response operations in Klamath County,” said Emergency Manager Morgan Lindsay. The bulk of last night’s response efforts were conducted by Sheriff’s Office volunteers.

While this levee is owned and maintained by a local special district comprised of the area’s homeowners, the Klamath County Board of Commissioners assessed the situation and authorized the county’s response. A small budget and a decades-old structure have made maintenance and repairs difficult for the special district. The repairs today will be accomplished by privately-hired contractors and homeowners.

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Klamath County Sheriffs Office