Flood and wind warnings; Dungeness delays; Community Thanksgiving; Eco Development; Reedsport Moonlight Madness

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Heavy rains prompt concerns of flooding and landslide

A flood watch for much of Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington has been issued by the National Weather Service.  That watch means there is a potential for flooding in low lying areas along the central and north coast, as well as in the Coast Range.

An accumulation of four to eight inches of rain is possible in the Coast Range in the 48-hour period ending Thursday night.  That could cause sudden rises in river levels, including the Siuslaw.

In addition to the potential for flooding in low lying areas, the heavy rains also mean there is a potential for landslides and debris flows.  Structures and roads located below steep slopes, in canyons and near the mouths of canyons could be at serious risk.

The National Weather Service says to remain aware of conditions before traveling over the next few days.

Domoic acid delays Dungeness crab

The traditional opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season is December 1st, but concerns about increased levels of naturally occurring toxins are delaying it.

During recent testing of crab viscera in the Garibaldi area, high levels of domoic acid were detected.  That prompted a closure of all recreational crabbing along most of the Oregon Coast as a precaution.  Domoic acid can cause serious illness, even death, if ingested by humans.  It cannot be removed by cooking or freezing the crab.

Oregon’s commercial crab industry and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife place a high priority, says ODFW’s Caren Braby, on making sure seafood consumers can be confident that they are buying a safe and high-quality product when they buy Oregon Dungeness.

She stressed the agency will work closely with crabbers and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to test the crab and make sure they are high quality and safe to eat.  Braby said they will monitor levels and open the fishery when levels fall low enough to be considered safe.

Florence economic development

Economic development efforts in Florence have grown to the point where a temporary full time position has been created to oversee them.  That’s according to City Manager Erin Reynolds.

Erin Reynolds – “It’s a role that we’ve created to be able to fully dedicate efforts and be responsive to the needs of our growing business community.  Whether that’s expansion of current businesses, encouragement of entrepreneurs and startup businesses or attracting and marketing businesses outside of the area.”

For the past 18-months that role has been filled by Reynolds and other city staffers.  Earlier this fall the City Council agreed to funding of the temporary position through the end of this fiscal year.

Jesse Dolin, (DOE-linn) will serve as the city’s “economic development catalyst” until at least June 30th.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner served

A cadre of more than 100 community volunteers began preparations yesterday for today’s free Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

The dinner is hosted by the Florence Kiwanis Club and will be held at the Elks Lodge on 12th street from noon until two pm.

Volunteers roasted turkeys, peeled potatoes and mixed up batches and batches of stuffing yesterday.  This morning they put the finishing touches on the dining room.

Dinner is free, and cash donations are not required.  Those received, however, will be used to offset costs.

Non-perishable food donations are encouraged.  Those will go straight to Florence and Mapleton Food Shares.

Last year more than 600 meals were served.  This year’s goal is to do more than 700.  River Cities Taxi will provide free transportation directly to and from the Elks Lodge during meal hours.

Reedsport Moonlight Madness and tree lighting

The Reedsport Community will light their Christmas Tree Saturday evening during a special ceremony at Lions’ Park.  The group Reedsport Main Street is hosting the event, as well as providing cookies, hot chocolate and coffee during the 5:30 pm event.

That coincides with the Reedsport Main Street Moonlight Madness sale that runs through 9 o’clock that evening.

Select merchants will be offering treats, merchandise and chances to win up to $200 in a poker run at participating stores.