101 Closed north of Sea Lion Caves

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Slide covers both lanes

A huge pile of rock, mud and trees came down on Highway 101 just north of Sea Lion Caves early yesterday afternoon.

The slide, at milepost 178… between the Caves and the Cape Creek Tunnel… covered both lanes of the highway and forced closure of the route through the afternoon and overnight according to Lou Torres with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Lou Torres – “It’s an area where we’ve had a long history of slides and this one particularly now, we have to clean it up. We’ve had crews working on it late afternoon and then last night.”

The road is expected to remain closed much of today.

Lou Torres – “We need the daylight in order to get up above the slide to do the clearing that’s necessary. So, the road should be closed for at least through today, we think, and probably won’t be open until maybe tomorrow morning.”

The slide came down in the area where a contractor has been working on rehabilitating and rebuilding the historic rock walls at Sea Lion Point, But Torres said that work did not appear to have had any effect on the slide.

It forced travelers on Highway 101 between Lincoln County and the Florence area into lengthy detours through the Willamette Valley.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease persists

Lane County Public Health officials have stepped up attention on an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease at Siuslaw Schools.

HFMD has been diagnosed in more than two-dozen students across all grades over the past two weeks. Symptoms include a fever accompanied by a sore throat, poor appetite and a vague feeling of being unwell. As the illness progresses, a rash may appear as small pimply sores; typically on the hands, feet and around the mouth.

Health officials are urging anyone with symptoms should see a physician and stay home from school or work. Public Health spokesman Jason Davis said you should keep away from public places until the fever has been gone for at least 24-hours and the sores have scabbed over and no new ones have appeared for two days.

School district officials have stepped up cleaning and sanitation in all school buildings as well as on buses.

Florence beginning budget process

Because there are five Mondays in February, that gives staff at City Hall an extra week to work on projects. City Manager Erin Reynolds says this time of year, they have a major focus:

Erin Reynolds – “It’s budget, budget, budget at this point. March-April; this is staff and council working on budget, preparing, looking at each operation and financial fund and accounting to make sure there’s no surprises.”

Reynolds said because the city adopted a long-term financial plan several years ago, it’s made the budget process easier with fewer surprises. They start with a five year plan, but are always looking at what’s coming next.

Erin Reynolds – “And the next two years, so that 12 to 24 months, you’re really fine tuning, knuckling down on that and just saying where are things that have changed in the last year in our expectation and our forecast.”

The first of several budget work sessions for the council and the city budget committee are set for early next month.

Florence highlighted in European travel vlog

A recent travel video blog by an influential blogger from the Netherlands includes details of a side trip to Florence.

Anna (Onn-uh) Nooshin has a huge international following on YouTube. She recently posted a video to her YouTube channel in which she talks about her room at the River House Inn and a visit to Sea Lion Caves. She also had an extended conversation… in Dutch… with Old Town Restaurateur Mary Ann Brisbane at what Nooshin called the “very cool” Le Bouchon.

Craig Sanders, the President of Hoagland Properties, which owns and operates the River House, said Nooshin’s YouTube channel has 54-thousand subscribers and 3.5-million page views. He added her main audience is the “upscale, young professional European; a very desirable traveler to attract to our area.