Coos County residents worry about 160-year-old Englewood Dike as winter nears

Englewood Dike in Coos County (SBG image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- With winter on the way, property owners in the Englewood Dike area are getting worried.

There is growing concern the dike might breach soon, putting many homes at a high risk of flood damage.

The dike is more than 160 years old.

The last time it failed was in 2006, causing dozens of homes to flood.

Residents patched up the weaker areas of the dike to prepare for this winter.

The acting superintendent of the Englewood Diking District says the challenges ahead include finding a way to pay for a permanent fix.

"We're going to keep our fingers crossed and hope for a mild winter, and then move forward next year and try to obtain some grant money,” says district resident Thomas Gollihur. “We can do the paperwork and get the ball rolling, but we need the backing of the county or the city to apply for grants."

Coos County commissioners say they are willing to help the diking district apply for that grant money.

"From the county's angle, we have our county planner actually working with them now and providing liaison duties we've offered if it's reasonable to help them with materials when they actually start patching the dike," says Commissioner Melissa Cribbins.

The Englewood Diking District hopes to have the paperwork for the grant finished by next year.

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