Flood Aftermath Consumes Workers, Victims

The clean-up of tons of mud and flood water continued in the Independence area today. Authorities continue to assess the damage to the Oak Creek homes and Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery.

Tuesday, Fish and Game officials traveled to the famous hatchery to view firsthand the extensive damage done to the long, cement trout race ways where brood trout live. The wall of mud and water that tore through that area filled the race ways with mud and demolished everything else. The famous hatchery building was not touched. Fish and Game homes were destroyed.

We still have calls into Fish and Game officials to learn more about the future of the hatchery. Andy Herrera, Manager at the hatchery, said they could definitely use any volunteer help to clean up the hatchery area.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Office of Emergency Service, Salvation Army and Red Cross were expected to talk to people at a meeting in Independence. The Sheriff’s Department announced that officers will enforce security in the Oak Creek area. Only residents of that area and citizens that have lawful property rights should be in the affecte3d flood zones. Trespassers are subject to arrest.

The CHP and CalTrans officials still advise people who want access to Fish Hatchery Road to check in and wait for an escort.

Earlier, Caltrans officials said they hoped crews could manage to get the Oak Creek waters back in the stream bed and away from Highway 395 where waters threatened to undermine the highway pavement.

Travel through the mudslide area remained one lane only with a detour through the Fort Independence Reservation for northbound traffic.

Earlier today, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory for the Olancha-Stovepipe Wells area. Highway 190 was opened but Highway 136 remained closed.

 
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