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Disasters & Accidents

McKenzie Valley Residents Still Without Reliable Communication Services

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Andy Nelson
/
Register-Guard / pool

Some Oregonians affected by the September wildfires are still without reliable phone service.

At a town hall meeting in Lane County, Oregon U-S Senator Ron Wyden heard from a McKenzie Valley resident, Jamee Doolin:

“We don’t have any way for my 80-year-old parents or my 10-year-old son if I’m not home to call 911 in case of an emergency.” Doolin said. “What do we do to start moving forward with these utility companies and holding them accountable to maintain service and restore service after a disaster such as the one that we’re affected by?

Wyden promised his staff would help. He said in the latest federal COVID relief package he was able to add funding for low-income broadband. But the hodgepodge nature of phone and internet providers makes it challenging to even get the service, let alone pay for it.

The McKenzie community is also still waiting on housing assistance. More than 400 homes were lost in the Holiday Farm Fire.

Copyright 2021 KLCC.