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Windstorm causes tens of thousands of dollars of damage to Prairie City

Wastewater treatment facility suffered structural damage
Rylan Boggs

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on June 28, 2017 5:03PM

A tree in Prairie City uprooted by a windstorm on Monday, June 26.

Contributed photo/Pam Woodworth

A tree in Prairie City uprooted by a windstorm on Monday, June 26.

A windstorm caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage in Prairie City on Monday, June 26, according to Mayor Jim Hamsher.

The city’s water system was damaged, computers went down and a house and vehicle had trees land on them.

City and private property was damaged, Hamsher said.

Lighting struck the wastewater treatment facility in Prairie City and damaged the electronics controlling the water system, Public Works Director Chris Camarena said. No untreated water entered the system, and the city’s million-gallon reservoir was used to supply the city with water.

Camarena said he worked 36 consecutive hours monitoring and repairing the system.

He said the two other public works employees had been “phenomenal,” and both put in 18 hour days.

“We don’t have catastrophes very often, but when we do, everybody steps up,” Camarena said.

He was thankful there were no injuries, but was unable to put a dollar figure on the amount of damage done as cleanup efforts are ongoing.

City Recorder Taci Philbrook said trees were split, uprooted and knocked over, some on houses,

“Prairie City was hit pretty hard by it,” Philbrook said.

However, the very next day residents were helping remove branches and cleaning up the city, “neighbors helping neighbors,” she said.

John Day was also affected by the storm, but not to the same degree as Prairie City.

No city property was damaged, but a tree was blown down on Ferguson Road. The west part of town lost power for a short period of time, according to Public Works Director Monty Legg. The storm hit around 1 p.m. and scattered debris and branches around the city.

“It was a pretty good little storm,” Legg said.

Dayville, Seneca, Mt. Vernon, Long Creek and Canyon City all avoided serious damage.

“It really didn’t hit us like it did John Day,” Canyon City City Recorder Corry Rider said.


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