Warm Springs issues emergency disaster declaration after water line breaks
The Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs on Friday approved an emergency disaster declaration due to immediate health threats resulting from a 14-inch water main-line break in the Shitike Creek.
Tribal staff, state and federal partners are working to determine the next steps to repair the main line crossing, which will take up to a week or longer and will result in a loss of water to most of the Warm Springs Agency area.
The declaration provides an option to the tribes to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funds to help with the repair and impacts to the community and local businesses.
The tribes issued a boil water notice on Thursday, May 30, due to a loss of pressure in the distribution system. The notice was the fourth boil water notice in the last six months due to low-pressure issues.
The tribes have determined that the main line break is located in the Shitike Creek beyond the location where three previous repairs have been completed. Failing pressure-reducing valves in the distribution system are also compounding the issues at the Shitike Creek crossing.
All businesses and residences south of U.S. Highway 26 will experience total water outages, which are anticipated to start early next week.
The loss of water will have a direct impact on the Warm Springs K-8 Academy, Indian Health Service Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center, Early Childhood Education Center, High Lookee Lodge, Senior Center, Warm Springs Detention Facility, Boys and Girls Club, Museum at Warm Springs, Indian Head Casino, Warm Springs Composites, tribal buildings, and local businesses and residences.
The boil water notice will remain in effect until further notice for the entirety of the Warm Springs Agency area, including Kah-Nee-Ta, Wolfe Point, Sunnyside, Upper Dry Creek, Miller Heights, Campus Area, West Hills, Tenino Valley, Tenino Apartments, Elliott Heights, Senior Housing, Trailer Courts, and Greeley Heights.
The tribes have implemented their emergency operation plan to coordinate repair and services to the community. Additional information will be provided via KWSO 91.9 FM, Facebook (www.facebook.com/CTWSO), and the tribes' emergency text message system regarding water distribution sites and anticipated timelines for repairs and water outages.