Milk Creek Structures Endure First High Water Event

Recent heavy rainfall resulted in a sudden rise in the level of Milk Creek. This caused us to take a close look at how well the large vegetated log matrix and the three engineered log jams fared.

We’re delighted to report all is well. Of course, this isn’t a surprise considering the strong engineering and conscientious construction practices employed in installing these practices!

Unofficial weather stations within several miles of the project reported two inches of rainfall on November 19, 2012. One station about seven miles to the south of the project site recorded nearly 2.5 inches of rain!

The next day, the level of Milk Creek rose substantially, putting sudden pressure on the log structures we installed in August and September.

Our automatic monitoring cameras captured before, during, and after photos of the event. One of the engineering team members visited and took video of the high water, then posted the video to YouTube:

Milk Creek is what we call a “flashy” stream, which means it responds quickly to rainfall. The photos and the graph of rainfall demonstrate how quickly this stream responded to an unsually large rainfall event. Several days later, the stream was less muddy and the water level had returned to the same level as before the rain event.

Meanwhile, the structures we installed remained intact, and even captured some debris that floated down during peak flows…and that is exactly what we predicted!


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Clackamas SWCD