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Umatilla National Forest Reopens Popular Road

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Umatilla National Forest has reopened a one-mile section of a famous road along the Umatilla River that was damaged due to flooding in February 2020.

According to a report, the reopened section of Forest Road 32 runs from the forest boundary near Corporation Guard Station, about eight miles to the east of Gibbon, to the bridge near Umatilla Forks campground.

As the road reopened, Umatilla National Forest officials also plan to reopen a portion of the campground comprising nine campsites in the latter part of spring or the beginning of summer. The rest of the campground will remain closed pending additional repair.

Workers completed repairing flood damages to the road in the autumn of 2021. They cleared debris slides off the road, cleaned and repaired ditches and culverts, and removed dangerous trees.

The flooding in February 2020 was caused by rain falling on a deep snowpack, causing extensive damage to 14 trails and roads near the Umatilla, South Fork Walla Walla, and Little Tucannon rivers on the Umatilla National Forest.

Road 32 sustained some of the worst destruction, including five areas where the road was obliterated.

Crews have been working to repair the road in sections. Road 32 is still closed starting from the bridge at Umatilla Forks campground to where the road turned south towards Ruckel Junction.

Umatilla National Forest officials urged visitors to be vigilant in spring when the roads and weather conditions could quickly change.

Many parts of the forest do not have cell phone service, and visitors must be prepared for the night by bringing warm clothing, food, and water. 

This story originally appeared on The Observer. 

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Modern Campground

Modern Campground

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