December Storm Sediment Deposits. There was much concern a month ago (on 12/12/10) when heavy rains caused Illahee Creek to overflow its banks and filled the stream with sediment. The velocity of the stream successfully carried the sediment through the culvert and deposited it on the flood plain and at the mouth of the creek. We have been monitoring the culvert to see if the emergency clean out of the downstream end of the culvert is helping and will be reporting on that in a later update.
High Daylight Tides. Because of the high daylight hour tides, it has been difficult to look at the sediment deposits in the nearshore area, that is until this past weekend. We took some pictures and videos of the sediment deposits. The first photo looks south at the mouth of the stream. The second looks north toward the Illahee community dock. The raised area to the north used to look more like a valley or depression (to give you a visual image of what it looked like before the storm), and is an indication of the amount of sediment that was deposited by the December storm waters.
Concerned Residents. We have heard from some of the residents near the mouth of the creek who were amazed at the sediment buildup from the December storm. Below is an email of from a local homeowner who has evidently been impacted with increased flood insurance requirements.
As the owners of one of the properties at the mouth of Illahee Creek, we have certainly noticed and been concerned by the increased sediment in Dr. Schutt’s reservoir and the entire basin. However, It seems there is too much focus on the culvert as this will not impact the rising elevation or sediment build up at the mouth. This is presently impacting home owners and the community as the sediment build up effects the marine life in the bay, as well as the elevation of the flood plain. The real problems lie more up stream with the flow of water and amount of sediment entering Illahee Creek and flowing down stream to the mouth as you noted below. Correct that problem and you will not need to raise the culvert. We would love to see more dredging or digging out of the flood plain even a few truck loads as a nice gesture as this problem has already cost home owners in the area with mandatory flood insurance requirements from mortgage lenders.
Our Comments. We concur with the above letter about the need to correct the upstream storm surges and the fact that the large sediment deposits are affecting marine life. We are not sure though, that there is enough money or the environmental approvals necessary to dredge out a raised flood plain.
Illahee State Park Creek Sediment? It appeared to us that there were some significant sediment deposits at the mouth of Illahee State Park creek, which is at the north end of the park. We haven’t talked much about this small creek, but it a recognized creek by the state, and is monitored by the Health District. If anyone has information on whether our observation of the sediment buildup is correct, please let us know.
Illahee State Park Improvements. We have been asked how the Illahee State Park sewer improvements have been progressing. The park has been closed because of the ongoing work and we have not talked with the park rangers, but we did take some pictures near the beach parking area, during a beach walk on Sunday. If you have any information on the progress, please let us know so we can pass it on.