High winds, heavy rains, take a toll

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Local News

Florence Area Family Homeless in Storm

Nine people were evacuated from their home north of Florence this morning after a tree fell on their manufactured home.

Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief Jim Langborg said the home, in the Buck Lake Area sustained “significant damage” and was uninhabitable. He said the family of nine people were taken to the main fire station before ten AM where they were drying out. Langborg said the Red Cross was working with the family to assist them with temporary lodging and other essentials.

Emergency officials said other than that instance, there have been no other reports of significant damage during the current storm.

Florence Couple facing multiple sex charges

An investigation concerning possible “inappropriate” photographs involving juveniles has led to the arrest of a Florence man and wife.

Lieutenant John Pitcher with Florence Police is calling the case one of the “most complex sexual abuse cases” local authorities have ever faced.   Pitcher said there may be several victims involved, in more than one community.

43-year old Gregory D. Cater is facing charges of rape and sodomy in the 2nd degree; sex abuse 1; using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct; and encouraging child sex abuse 1. His wife, 44-year old Doreen Elizabeth Cater is facing charges of rape and sodomy in the 3rd degree; sex abuse III; using a child in display of sexually explicit conduct; and encouraging child sex abuse 1.

Pitcher said they will not release any further information about the ages of the victims in order to protect their privacy.

Rapid rainfall

in the 36 hours between midnight Saturday and Noon Monday, the Florence area had received about 2 1/2 inches of rainfall.

Florence public works director Mike Miller said his home personal weather station recorded 1.34 inches of rain between Midnight Saturday and Midnight Sunday. As of this morning at seven it had already recorded just under an inch of rain with a considerable amount falling since that time.  By noon another half to three-quarters of an inch had fallen.

Area weather stations measured significant winds as well. The highest gust recorded at Sea Lion Caves before five AM was 80 miles an hour. Sustained winds of 50 to 60 miles an hour have continued since that time.

Flood warning issued

A flood warning has been issued for the Siuslaw River as the level continues to rise.

At one this afternoon the river level was six inches below the “minor” flood stage of 18 feet. The National Weather Service is predicting a crest of just under 19 feet at around ten PM.

That was after a meteoric rise in levels beginning at midnight last night and an 11-foot jump in levels.

Even at 19 feet, there is little danger of damage, but there is currently flooding in low areas near the river.

Several other streams are running full, over flowing over their banks this afternoon; including the North Fork Siuslaw, Sweet Creek and Lake Creek.

Water was across Highway 126 at the Cushman Railroad Bridge at midday… The tide was low at 4:46 and is will be high again around ten pm.