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Coastal Town of Nehalem Floods But Suffers No Damage

A high tide combined with a swollen river to flood downtown Nehalem on the Oregon coast Thursday.  But as Pete Springer reports, the town  learned a lesson from the 1996 floods and was ready this time around.

Nehalem is a small town on the Nehalem river just south of Manzanita. 

The town suffered extensive damage in the '96 floods and got FEMA money to prevent flood damage in the future.

That money was used to elevate flood prone business and other structures by several feet— and it apparently worked.

Michael Nitzsche is Nehalem’s city manager. 

Michael Nitzsche: “So while we did have two and half—and in some cases probably even closer to three feet of water, the businesses were elevated and other structures were elevated above that mark.  So while it looked really bad, no damage was done just simply because it was simply foundations that was underwater and not the structures themselves.”

Nitzsche says the water receded Thursday afternoon and left the town looking like a heavy rain storm had passed through. 

He says for some reason, when it floods, Nehalem doesn't see the mud and silt that often accompanies floods in other areas.

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