Give yourself plenty of time before heading out on the road
Road closures and restrictions in Western Oregon, as well as the Florence area, have been slowly piling up as heavy rains continue to cause problems. Now snow is beginning to compound travel challenges. A major slide on Highway 42 in Coos and Douglas Counties has shifted more traffic than usual to Highway 38. Snow falling along that route this morning has prompted the Oregon Department of Transportation to issue an advisory telling motorists to be prepared for up to two hour delays between Reedsport and the I-5 Corridor.
That will no doubt shift even more traffic to Highway 126 which has seen daily closures around high tide because of flooding beneath the railroad bridge at Cushman.
Savvy area residents often take an alternative route… North Fork Siuslaw Road all the way over the hill to Highway 36 above Mapleton. But, that route has been cut off for more than a week though because of a slide. It will continue to be closed until crews can make repairs.
Motorists are advised to check current conditions at www-dot-tripcheck-dot-com before heading out on the road… and leave yourself plenty of extra time.
Slide causes water restrictions
Heceta Water PUD customers in the Collard Lake area above Mercer Lake Road are under emergency water restrictions today.
Last week’s mud slide in the area that claimed one life has limited the ability to fill the Mercer Lake storage tank.
An emergency board of directors meeting yesterday resulted in a “level 4” emergency water curtailment for that area through at least March 1st. That means residents on Collard Lake, Collard Loop and other nearby roads are being asked to reduce water consumption by 30-percent from their previous month’s usage.
If reduction goals are not met, further restrictions could be imposed.
District staff is working on coordinating delivery of water to the reservoir by truck.
Special services at area churches
A number of local churches are hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. St. Mary, Our Lady of the Dunes Catholic Church will have a 5:30 Mass this evening, along with an 11 AM Christmas Day Mass. St. John the Apostle in Reedsport will have an 8:45 mass tomorrow.
St. Andrews Episcopal in Florence has a service tonight at eight pm, then another tomorrow morning at ten.
Florence Christian Church will have two services this evening… five and 6:30; and First Baptist on 25th street has a single service this evening at six.