12 December 2014
Florence Area Dodges a Wind-Driven Bullet
Sustained winds of 80 miles an hour were recorded at Sea Lion Caves yesterday afternoon; with gusts peaking out at 89. Winds in excess of 50-miles an hour were recorded in Florence as a strong pacific storm blew by the area.
No serious damage was reported in the area, but one Florence driver narrowly escaped serious injury when a 70-foot shore-pine tree toppled onto a passing car on Kingwood Street just south of 26th Street.
The driver, whose name was not released, was momentarily trapped in the heavily damaged car.
Utility crews were kept busy with smaller, individual power outages around the area. Only one sizeable outage was reported. Several homes on Mitchell Loop south of Florence were without power briefly in mid afternoon.
Winds began subsiding shortly after dark.
Two killed in the state
Though the damage was minimal in our area, there were two deaths reported in Oregon from yesterday’s storm.
Portland police say a teenage boy died last night. The boy was a passenger in a car that was struck by a falling tree, causing the driver to swerve and strike another tree.
In Southern Oregon, a homeless man, camping with his 18-year old son on the Pacific Crest Trail died when a large tree fell across the tent he was sleeping in.
Winds caused scattered damage in the Portland area last night and at one time, utility crews were working to restore power to an estimated 127-thousand people. More than 23-thousand were still without power by early this morning.
Bridge repairs to restrict traffic
Traffic across the Siuslaw River Bridge in Florence will be restricted to one lane of travel next week as crews work on the lift-spans.
Flaggers will be controlling traffic between nine AM and three PM Monday through Thursday next week.
Rick Little with the Oregon Department of Transportation says the agency will also place staff at key locations on either end of the bridge to monitor traffic. If lengthy queues develop, he said, immediate changes to the traffic control will occur.
A snooper crane… with a long articulated arm… will be used to provide access to the area beneath the bridge so the crew can safely work.
Repairs to mechanical works at Heceta Head
The Heceta Lighthouse will remain dark for the next several weeks. Kevin Beck with Oregon Parks and Recreation, said the work is not related to recent renovations.
Mechanical problems have developed with the clutch and motor that powers the rotation of the carriage wheel mechanism. He said contractors are ‘trouble shooting’ the problems. He called the issue “just part of the challenge of maintaining and operating a 121-year old lighthouse”.
The holiday “Victorian Lights” at the Keeper’s House will proceed as scheduled. Beck said he hoped to have the main beacon up and operating soon.
550-million pounds of plastic
A recent study published in the online edition of the magazine for the Public Library of Science estimates that there are more than five-trillion pieces of plastic weighing a combined 270-thousand tons floating in the world’s oceans.
That’s enough to fill nearly 39-thousand garbage trucks.
The study is aimed at helping scientists understand how the material will affect the environment and the food chain.
Researchers dragged fine mesh nets at the sea surface in the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean near Antarctica and in the South Atlantic. Then extrapolated the data to make the world wide estimate.
Police to step up holiday patrols
Additional Lane County Sheriff’s Deputies will be on the road beginning this weekend and continuing through January 4th. It’s an effort to make highways in Lane County safer for holiday travelers.
Sergeant Billy Halvorson says the number of drunk and impaired drivers increases “significantly” this time of year. The extra patrols will emphasize “aggressive driving” enforcement as well as seeking out impaired drivers.