GASTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Temporary warning signs were posted in the area of Hagg Lake where four family members recently drowned, an action taken days after a resident was cited for posting his own handmade signs.
The Associated Press reports Washington County sheriff’s deputies put crime-scene tape along that dangerous spot of Henry Hagg Lake on Monday, and temporary signs were posted by the Parks Department.
The signs, in both English and Spanish, warn visitors to that area about “steep drop offs” that may not be immediately visible, authorities said in a release.
Park officials said they plan to put permanent signs at the park’s entrance near Scoggins Dam. Other safety improvements are under discussion.
The action comes shortly after Michael Medill of Gaston was given a $5,000 ticket for ignoring orders not to bolt warning signs into posts and trees.
Medill said residents have been lobbying for signs warning of a sharp drop-off in the lake since 2012 when eight children nearly drowned.
“When we saw that incident over the weekend, we took fast action to at least get temporary signs. We need the public on our side. We need people with good intentions of getting the word out about safety to work with us,” said Washington County Communications Officer Philip Bransford.
KOIN 6 News learned the decision to place the temporary signs was made Monday morning by the assistant city administrator.
About 750,000 visitors went to the county park a year ago, officials said. There are more than 30 water access points along Hagg Lake’s 14 miles of shoreline.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.