Blocked culvert leads to evacuations near Silver Lake - KPTV - FOX 12

Blocked culvert leads to evacuations near Silver Lake

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COWLITZ COUNTY, WA (KPTV) -

A blocked culvert that runs beneath a railroad grade is creating a water backup between 20 and 50 feet in depth.

The culvert is on property owned by the Weyerhaeuser forest products company near Silver Lake.

Hemlock Creek normally flows through the culvert, but is now being blocked by debris caused by recent storms.

Nine homes on Moore Road near Slightly Road have been evacuated due to concerns of a possible flash flood if the make-shift dam would break. Crews from Weyerhaeuser are working to get pumps and excavation equipment to clear out and divert some of the water.

Homeowners near Silver Lake are also being warned that if the water would rush into the lake, it could cause a sudden rise in the water level, which could lead to some flooding on lakefront property.

An engineer is evaluating the situation to determine if there is a way to slowly drain the backup, though officials are concerned that expected rains over the weekend could worsen the problem.

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