Wind Storms are nothing new for Astoria but usually the winds are more southerly. This past weekend storm was unusual in that the prevailing winds were westerly at a high velocity which drove already high river water into breaking waves that caused damage all along the city River Walk Trail. The picture to the left is a section of the east end portion of the trail where the wave action washed away a portion of the rock underlayment supporting the railroad ties.
Public Works Director Ken Cook did a little investigation taking some pictures of just a few of the places where it was obvious that the popular trail had suffered damage it normally would never see. The picture to the right was taken near mill pond village. Again , Cook said this damage was caused by the westerly winds driving waves that wore away soft ground underneath the pavement causing the section to collapse. Cook says that barricades are up to warn walkers and bike riders.
The estimated 9 foot six inch plus high tide contributed to the problem pushing the protestive riprap aside and eating away at the softer soils causing a section near the old Astoria train depot to drop away just a few feet way from the paved pathway. Cook told the council that he counted at least 30 places along the shoreline where high velocity winds and wave action breaking over trail caused similar wash outs.
In the picture to the right the sidewalk behind the Holiday Inn Express in Uniontown was undermined by wave action eating away the rock base. This is the rear corner behind the hotel at the foot of Columbia street. Just a block away at the Maritime Memorial Park under the Meglar Bridge Cook found evidence of debris thrown up on the shore by the unusual wave action, high tide and high winds. Cook says staff will be working to re-armor and restore those areas.