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Pummeled by Storms, Douglas County Declares State of Emergency

With sustained severe weather conditions for much of the past week, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 5:28 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2019 5:45 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. — While the southernmost Oregon counties have seen, at most, an unusual amount of rain and snow this week, Douglas County has taken the brunt of a series of storms — with heavy snow bringing down trees and power lines, restricting travel and leaving thousands without electricity.

On Wednesday, the Douglas County Boar of Commissioners declared a state of emergency, according to a joint statement issued by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office (DCSO).

"The order was recorded and forwarded onto our Emergency Manager for processing, and submission to the State and Governor Brown’s office requesting an official emergency declaration for Douglas County," DCSO said. "The order cited severe winter storms, heavy snowfall, widespread power outages and road closures from downed trees and power lines."

An emergency declaration from the Governor's office would allow "increased flexibility," DCSO said, in how services are managed — making sure that the safety of residents is assured.

"The Governor’s emergency declaration will also authorize state agencies to expedite additional resources services management tools to users who would not otherwise have access," DCSO said.

Meanwhile, Pacific Power said that crews had been working throughout the day on snowy roads amid "a massive amount of damage," restoring power to about 6,000 people between the Willamette Valley and Roseburg areas.

“We are getting close to restoring the last of the customers in the Willamette Valley communities such as Cottage Grove and Lebanon where fewer than 650 customers remain without power,” said David Lucas, vice president of operations. “Overnight, we will be moving additional crews and resources to Douglas County to concentrate on this area of widespread damage.”

By Thursday afternoon, the utility estimated that it would have 200 crew members working in Douglas county alone — removing trees, repairing power lines, and fixing other damaged equipment. But Pacific Power said that the ongoing weather conditions would make for "slow going."

“The patience and support our crews have seen in the community have been great,” said Sam Carter, regional business manager for Douglas County. “It has been a lot to endure, but as I talk with people from around the county, it looks like neighbors are helping each other get through it.”

In the meantime, and Emergency Operations Center has been set up at the Sheriff's Office to get emergency services where they are needed, plus providing updates to locals.

"Do not call 9-1-1 to determine when your power will be turned back on," DCSO said. "The emergency dispatchers do not have access to this information. Contact your power company directly to determine an estimated time of restoration."

Shelters and warming centers have been set up at several locations in Douglas County:

 - American Red Cross Shelter - Winston Foursquare Church, 540 SE Main St, Winston, OR
 - Dream Center - 813 SE Lane Street, Roseburg, OR (Open 7p – 7a) - (541) 673-5918
 - Yoncalla Elementary Gym - 400 First Street, Yoncalla, OR
 - Sutherlin Community Center - 150 Willamette Street, Sutherlin, OR

"We continue to encourage residents travel with caution," DCSO said. "If driving is required, motorists should be prepared for potential hazards and plan accordingly. If traveling ensure you have sufficient emergency supplies including food, water, medications, winter clothing, flashlights and blankets. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and reduce your speed."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3927

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah104058
Marion90525
Washington69017
Clackamas29010
Deschutes1190
Linn1169
Umatilla1113
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill657
Jackson570
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Jefferson250
Douglas250
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Curry60
Union60
Crook50
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94020

Reported Deaths: 3754
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles450172106
San Diego6559249
Riverside6464290
Orange5336131
San Bernardino4365176
Alameda284793
Santa Clara2617139
San Francisco236740
San Mateo183376
Kern182429
Tulare164175
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno144822
Contra Costa132136
Sacramento129356
Imperial114523
Ventura91230
San Joaquin75233
Stanislaus62928
Kings5172
Sonoma4824
Solano45520
Monterey3958
Marin38814
San Luis Obispo2581
Merced2516
Santa Cruz1922
Yolo19022
Placer1849
Napa1013
Humboldt932
Madera842
El Dorado740
San Benito702
Nevada411
Sutter402
Shasta364
Butte340
Mono341
Yuba281
Del Norte230
Mendocino210
Inyo191
Mariposa151
Calaveras130
Lake120
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Lassen20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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