Disasters & Accidents

Anniversary Reminds Oregon Of Earthquake Risk

Dec 25, 2014
OPB.org

December 26 is the 10-year anniversary of the Boxing Day earthquake that struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management has stepped up preparations for a major quake here.

Oregon is located along the Cascadia Subduction zone, a fault capable of producing a major quake. Cory Grogan, with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management says it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. New evacuation and tsunami inundation maps have been created and are vital to Oregon’s preparedness.

Oregon Department of Transportation

US 101 will likely remain at a single lane of travel for as long as 2 months 12 miles north of Florence. A landslide this weekend damaged the roadway near Heceta Head.

Heavy rains caused a landslide that did extensive damage to the northbound lane of 101. One lane is open to traffic with flaggers and a pilot car. Rick Little with the Oregon Department of Transportation says drivers should expect a 20 minute delay.

He says the road will be restricted until a fix to the landslide can be designed and put in place.

KVAL.com

United Airline flights Monday and Tuesday from Eugene to San Francisco were canceled due to weather conditions in the bay area. KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke about it with the Airport's Assistant Director Cathryn Stephens.

Stephens said the configuration of the San Francisco airport means rain as well as fog can wreak havoc. They cause incoming delays. These backups then lead to cancellations.

Stephens:  "So they start having weather down there, and they start having to slow down their arrivals and their departures, their capacity goes way down."

Several areas in Eugene were without power for about two hours Saturday afternoon. The outages started just before three p.m., affecting several thousand Eugene Water and Electric Board customers and a University of Oregon basketball game.

Four substations malfunctioned, taking out power to the U of O campus, and Whiteaker and Coburg Road neighborhoods. Traffic signals went dark during the outage and the second half of the women’s basketball game was delayed by over an hour while waiting for the power to come back on.

Newport Coast Guard Base Will Remain Open

Dec 11, 2014
www.newslincolncounty.com

The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter base in Newport will stay open. It had been slated to close this month to save the Coast Guard 6-million-dollars. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer  reports.

Democratic members of the Oregon delegation negotiated the language in the coast guard reauthorization bill. It will prohibit the closure of any air facilities in the U.S. for the next year.

Oregon State Police

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into this morning's crash that killed two Mapleton High School students and injured three others on Highway 126W, east of Florence.

At approximately 7:00 a.m. Thursday, local emergency responders and OSP troopers from the Springfield and Florence offices were dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Highway 126W at milepost 15 near Mapleton in Lane County.

Angela Kellner

UPDATE: 10:28 a.m.

Eugene Police say all lanes of W. 7th Ave. are now open.

UPDATE: 8:45 a.m.

Eugene Police say two lanes of West 7th Avenue are now open to traffic.

____________________________

Eugene Police are investigating a Saturday morning crash of a white van into a tree on West 7th Avenue between Charnelton and Olive St.

West 7th is closed until further notice at Charnelton. The condition of the driver has not been released.

CBS Local website.

Hygienic funeral and patient isolation practices are key factors to ending Ebola in West Africa. That's according to a study published by an Oregon State University researcher.

The study says current containment practices will likely cause the disease to continue to expand by more than 200 cases in Liberia by December. Jan Medlock teaches Biomedical Sciences at OSU. He says the disease is most contagious around the time of death, which means hygienic funeral practices are essential to preventing further infections.

Nick Edwards / OPB

The Newport Coast Guard helicopter facility is getting a small reprieve. Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Congressman Kurt Shrader Tuesday spoke with the commandant of the Coast Guard and got assurance from him that the November 30th date previously set for the closure of the Newport facility would be extended to December 15th.

Oregon Participates In The Great ShakeOut

Oct 14, 2014
eraelmundo

On October 16 at 10:16 a.m., Oregonians will have a chance to practice “drop, cover, and hold” as a part of the international Great ShakeOut exercise.

When a major earthquake hits Oregon, residents need to be prepared. The state lies in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, putting the area at risk of an earthquake.

To get people prepared, the state will be holding “The Great Oregon ShakeOut." This drill gives communities, schools, and other organizations a chance to practice their immediate responses to a tremor.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

For years there's been a battle raging between Idaho ranchers and the federal government over whether ranchers should be able to fight wildfires. Get out there, with their trucks and tanks of water and try to put the fires out themselves. Ranchers say they've always done it. The Feds have said, leave it to the pros and don't make yourself a liability. At times it's almost come close to blows. But now a truce has been struck. And it could change the way fires are fought every summer.

Eugene Holds Second Disaster Relief Trials

Oct 12, 2014
Amanda Butt

Saturday, dozens of bicyclists gathered in Alton Baker Park for the second annual Disaster Relief Trials.

If a natural disaster strikes in Eugene, cargo bikers are prepared to help the community. Around 60 cyclists gathered in Alton Baker Park - eager to begin the obstacle course modeled after an earthquake disaster. Emma Stocker is with the University of Oregon Emergency Management Team, she explains the course’s design:

commuteorlando.com

The second annual Eugene Cargo Bike Fair and Disaster Relief Trials will be held Saturday at Alton Baker Park. It’s sponsored by the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon, and a host of bike advocates. Emma Stocker of the University’s Emergency Management Team says the event is designed to help demonstrate the capabilities of bikes in disaster situations such as:

Task Force Outlines Oregon Earthquake Disaster Plan

Oct 2, 2014
OPB

A governor appointed task force drafted recommendations to address the dangers of a major earthquake and tsunami this week at Oregon state university. If enacted, the cost would be 100 million dollars per year. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer reports.

Oregon State Police

A school bus loaded with students from the Pleasant Hill School District went off the road Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported.

It happened on Highway 222 near Jasper Road, north of Pleasant Hill. Emergency responders were called to the scene at 7:44 a.m. They first checked on the students, ages 5-15 years old, to make sure there were no injuries.

Disaster Preparedness Training For Eugene Citizens

Sep 22, 2014
KLCC

Disaster Preparedness Training is available free to the Eugene/Springfield community, Tuesday. Citizens can learn about simple ways to be ready for situations when first responders are limited.

Oregon Military Dept.

More than fifty fires continue to burn in the West. Efforts this summer to change how the federal government pays for fire suppression hasn't moved forward. And that has one Oregon lawmaker speaking out.

The Obama Administration has proposed paying for wildfire suppression the same way the federal government responds to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes.  

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Yellow Point Fire, burning about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove is now 45% contained.  The Oregon Department of Forestry says crews have run more than 25 miles of hose.  Water is being distributed to the line.  Spokeswoman Shirl Fredenburg says crews are working hard to wet the area around the fire ahead of a forecast red flag weather warning.

 “Low humidity and dry, hot weather… that could be a factor.  But they have high expectations that they’ll keep it under control.”

Inciweb

Firefighters in Oregon are bracing for dry, hot weather expected back in the region Thursday and through the weekend.

The Deception Complex of fires outside Oakridge is 64 percent contained. It's burned more than 48 hundred acres. Fire spokeswoman Sara Saarloos says crews have made good progress mopping up containment lines. They're preparing for fire weather.

Saarloos: "With that warming and drying trend we'll start seeing an increase in fire behavior. We do still have some fire in the interior of the Deception Fire."

Oregon Department of Forestry

Smoke from regional wildfires drifted into the Willamette Valley this weekend, causing hazy conditions. The air quality may be affected through mid-week.

The smell of smoke was strong in the South Willamette Valley this weekend. Air quality monitors were at moderate for Eugene /Springfield and up to unhealthy for Oakridge.  Sarah Saarloos is with the Deception Complex of Fires:

Corvallis Gazette-Times

The Yellow Point Fire, which broke out Friday afternoon, is roughly 220 acres. It's located about 25 miles west of Cottage Grove. No homes or structures are threatened and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze is burning in timber and logging slash in a remote area near the historic 1966 Oxbow Fire. Due to excessive traffic, smoky conditions and narrow roads, the public is encouraged to stay clear of the area. A late-night wildfire that tore through brush near Corvallis was extinguished Saturday morning after it forced the evacuation of more than 200 homes.

@FOX12Oregon via twitter

10:25 AM UPDATE:

Firefighters have the fire 70% contained at 3:00 a.m., and the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) used a bulldozer to fully contain the fire by 5:00 a.m.

www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge and a small fire in the Coast Range are keeping almost a thousand firefighters busy.

A fire in the Cape Perpetua scenic area was reported Monday evening. As of Tuesday a 20-person crew was working to contain the half-acre blaze, which is in a drainage of Cummins Creek. According to officials, there are no closures. The cause of the fire is unknown and will be investigated.

Inciweb

The Deception Creek Complex of wildfires in the Willamette National Forest near Oakridge is now 55 percent contained. It has burned more than 2,200 acres.

Department of Forestry

The Deception Complex Fire burning west of Oakridge is now 55% contained. The 2,000 acre collection of wildfires was buffeted by strong winds late Friday causing the fire to burn near ridge tops, but ground lines held. The Deception Creek Mobile Home Park, the Middle Fork Ranger Station, and some houses along the La Duke Road remain on a level 2 evacuation notice.

www.inciweb.nwcg.gov

The Deception Complex fire near Oakridge is now 45 percent contained. However, it moved west Thursday night, causing some closures for the long weekend.

Part of the Cottage Grove Ranger District is under an emergency closure. An area southeast of Forest Service Road 17 is closed from Spirit Falls to the divide. Pam Sichting is with the U.S. Forest Service. She says archery season opens this weekend, and bow hunters should stay current with fire updates:

Summer is ending, but fire season in the Northwest is still with us. The Oregon Gulch fire was southern Oregon’s largest so far this season, blackening nearly 56 square miles of southern Oregon and northern California. Several homes were lost, others were saved and a rural mountain community came face-to-face with the reality of sudden danger and loss. In Ashland, Jefferson Public Radio’s Liam Moriarty traces the path the fire took as it marked the lives of those it touched.

Oregon Department of Forestry

A wildfire burning in the Willamette National Forest close to Oakridge [Oregon] is about 53% contained. The smoke is causing unhealthy breathing conditions in the surrounding areas. The blaze which is threatening a mobile home park and a ranger district compound.

The bodies of three family members were retrieved Tuesday from Hagg Lake west of Portland. They were relatives of a 3-year-old boy who died Monday after being taken unconscious from the lake.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Bob Ray says the Hillsboro family members were found about 25 yards from where the boy’s body was found. They included his mother, grandmother, and the boy’s 13-year-old uncle.  

The victims were not wearing life jackets, Ray says. There was no evidence of foul play.  Sergeant Ray says the investigation is ongoing.

http://defazio.house.gov/

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon plans to use a rare procedure to force a vote on a bill to increase federal funding to fight wildfires. This as the U-S Forest Service is close to surpassing its firefighting budget for the year.

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