The Newport City Council met in a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon and declared a state of emergency for the city due to the heavy rain and wind events over the past several weeks. The declaration coincides with the County declaration made on Monday. This will enable the city to utilize state resources to help with repairs and damages from the storms. Newport has received over 23 inches of rain so far this month. Newport City manager Spencer Nebel reported to the council that the city has been impacted in several ways as a result of these storms and high water.
“We had the slide up on 70th drive that impacted 5 homes, we had a major slide at the airport near the terminal area that needed attention and damage to a number of streets that were more minor in nature. He added that the cities lift stations have experienced damages to the pumps causing several overflow situations throughout the last two weeks. Newport public works crews reported that due to mechanical failure Tuesday afternoon of one of the pumps at the Big Creek Wastewater Pump Station located on Big Creek east of the Agate Beach Wayside on Oceanview Drive is currently overflowing into Big Creek. One of motors for the two pumps failed and needs to be rebuilt.
The earliest date that the pump is expected to be returned to service is January 8th. Because of the forecast of continued rain for the next several days, it is expected this station will continually overflow. City crews are making arrangements to have a diesel skid pump brought in until the motor can be repaired. Hopefully the overflow can be eliminated with the addition of this pump.Signs warning of the sewage overflows are posted at the affected areas. Contact with water contaminated with bacteria can increase the risk of disease.
Please avoid contact with these water bodies until further notice. There was also a broken water main also. Under the municipal code an emergency situation exists when the health, safety or welfare of the city is threatened by a natural disaster. Based on the slide activity that took place off of 70th, Nebel declared a temporary emergency. The city council approved the resolution declaring an emergency that is in effect until January 19th.