Local News – Florence Woman Died In Landslide Friday – Lighting Contest Winners Announced

Holiday Lighting Contest Winners Announced.

The blustery weather Thursday night didn’t keep the judges of the Florence Holiday Light display contest from making their appointed rounds.

Three Florence businesses, and three area residences caught the eye of the judges, bringing “quite the sparkle” throughout the area according to Sherri Bollinger with the Chamber of Commerce.

1st place in the commercial category went to Premier Landscape on Quince Street just off Highway 126.  The Edwin K. Bed and Breakfast on West Bay Street and TR Hunter Real Estate on Highway 101 near 18th street were 2nd and 3rd.

Terry Anderson at 04742 Sea Breeze Lane won the residential category. J.R. Gray at 1072 8th was second; and Simone Moore at 84367 Clear Lake Road was third.

The contest was co-sponsored by Central Lincoln PUD. The six winners were required to use energy efficient LED lights on most of their displays… they each received cash prizes for their efforts.


 While a flood watch is not posted by the National Weather Service for the Siuslaw River, motorist are reminded to be aware of high waters along highway 126 at the Cushman Railroad Underpass. This morning’s 7.4 foot high tide at 8:50 brought rising water rising onto the roadway at least an hour before the tide reached its peak.  Tonight’s high tide is a 5.3 tide at 10:05.


A 70-year old woman and one of her dogs died early Friday morning when a wall of mud, rocks and trees slammed into the back of the home she shared with her husband near Mercer Lake Road.

The body of Delores Miller was recovered by firefighters and rescue workers shortly after the 3:20 AM slide.

Miller’s husband suffered minor injuries and was able to escape with the family’s other dog. He called 911.

The slide did not directly impact Mercer Lake Road, but officials kept the road closed for several hours as a precaution. It reopened Friday afternoon.

The area has received several inches of rain last week, saturating the soil and causing slides in several areas around Western Oregon.


 Friday morning’s slide on Mercer Lake Road wasn’t big enough to keep one man from doing his job. Dr. Bruce Watanabe, a surgeon at Peace Harbor Medical Center had an early morning surgery scheduled.  When he couldn’t get to work by driving, he went to his dock, got on his jet ski and went across to Mercer Lake Resort.

He had called someone to pick him up there and he reportedly made it to surgery with time to spare.



The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, just south of Yachats will help whale watchers focus on the giant mammals.

Two programs each Saturday and then again Monday, the 26th and 28th will help people understand the Gray whales.

Volunteer Interpretive Ranger Michael Noack will present “Experiencing Gray Whales” four times in all.

Gray Whales will be headed south along the coast, headed to winter breeding grounds off Baja, Mexico.

Volunteers will be on hand at the Cape Perpetua Center, as well as several other coastal locations all next week to help visitors spot the whales.