The Peninsula Daily News reported how the recent heavy rains have damaged Sequim’s Railroad Bridge at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, of which the Jamestown Tribe is the property owner. The winter storms, going back to December, also have significantly shifted the river’s main channel.
While part of the bridge’s western trestle was damaged by heavy river flow in early February, tribal staff have noted the river’s major shift this winter.
Meanwhile, Jamestown S’Klallam environmental planning manager Hansi Hals reported that, in the wake of this winter’s storms, the Dungeness River has moved over.
“The main channel is now west of where it had been,” Hals said.
“This stretches back to the December time frame,” when a few alder trees came down.
Then, in the first week of February, the rain felled more trees: alders and a massive cottonwood. This pulled away the bank, making way for the wild Dungeness to change course.
It was the power of the river, which flows steeply down from the Olympic Mountains, that undermined the trestle — “hydraulics,” Hals said.
The river is home to chinook and summer chum salmon, steelhead and bull trout, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.