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Officials Coming To Lane County To Evaluate December Ice Storm Damage

Brian Bull

This week,  emergency officials will come to Lane County to review damage from the mid-December ice storm.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the visit could lead to local agencies recouping some losses.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management -- and the state and federal FEMA offices -- will assess the damages.  Lane County will also pursue a presidential disaster declaration…which would mean the federal government would reimburse 75 percent of costs associated with last month’s storm.

Linda Cook is the Emergency Manager for the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.  She says the ice storm was certainly “one for the ages”.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A Eugene resident clears out fallen branches from his yard and sidewalk in mid-December.

“Whether it’s the local guy on my street who said that in his 34 years of doing yard maintenance, he’s never seen anything like it,  to our public works crews who have been doing this for decades…everybody is saying, ‘we’ve never seen anything like it.” 

Major outages and heavy debris left many locals cold, wet, and stranded.  At last count, there was nearly $9.5 million worth of damage reported by many area utilities, municipalities, and school districts.   

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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