Power outages expected to persist…
Peak winds in excess of 100 miles were recorded at several locations on the central Oregon coast today as a major winter storm blew ashore, bringing heavy rains, downed power lines and toppled trees up and down the coast. In Florence, a tree fell on a car on 35th street early this morning severely injuring the driver. Officials say 53-year old Wai Tong Tai of Florence was transported to River Bend Hospital in Springfield where he was in critical condition earlier today.
Utility crews have been hard at work since early this morning to restore power outages. A major substation north of Florence was taken off line early because of downed lines. Crews were able to reroute lines and restore power to much of the area north of the Siuslaw River, but scattered outages still persist.
South of the river is a different story. An outage south of the Glenada area is expected to continue until at least Thursday as crews will have to make major repairs in the Newcombe and Canary Road area.
Classes at Siuslaw School District continued as scheduled today. Superintendent Jeff Davis said the heaviest winds didn’t strike until after the buses had left on their routes.
Jeff Davis – “All the roads were clear at that time. And by the time my transportation director had gotten back to his office and all the buses were on their way enroute to picking up kids. It was at that point that the kids were safer, better off in a bus and getting them in school and inside and it wasn’t until later that the winds really kicked in.”
Davis admits that some may not agree with his decision to not cancel classes.
Jeff Davis – “This is one of those things where I get criticized whether I close it or I open it so I do understand it. It goes with the territory, I accept responsibility for that.”
All evening activities have been cancelled, but no decision has been made yet on tomorrow.