Officials Coming To Lane County To Evaluate December Ice Storm Damage

Jan 9, 2017

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.

Utility crews work on damaged power lines along Willamette Street in mid-December, 2016, after a heavy ice storm caused outages across Eugene and Springfield.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

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”.

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

“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.