State Awards Money For Tsunami Awareness; Storms Knock Out Power; Dangerous Cylinders; Open Enrollment Begins

Tsunami Awareness Grants

The state of Oregon has been awarded $325 Thousand dollars to outfit coastal cities along the Cascadia Subduction Zone with the latest signage and materials to show Tsunami safe zones.  Much of the work that the grant covers has already been done in Florence.  The painting of blue tsunami safe zone markers across roadways, tsunami evacuation signs and “you are here” maps like the one on the boardwalk in old town.  Jonathan Allen with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries says it also covers signage on highway 101 marking when you enter and leave a tsunami zone.  Allen says communities can request funds to cover the materials but that  in-kind matching funds for labor to install them must come from the requesting community.

Storms Roll Through Florence

Thunderstorms rolled through Florence yesterday afternoon.  The brief but powerful storms caused power outages from high winds and broken trees.  Several homes on Munsel Lake lost power as wind, rain, and hail swept through the city.  The quick moving storm only lasted about 10 minutes before moving out of the area.

Dangerous Beach Finds

Cylinders filled with white phosphorus occasionally wash up on the shore, but in the last 2 weeks several of them have been found on Oregon beaches.  The first was just north of Florence about 10 days ago.  Another was found at Depoe Bay on September 30th and a third just washed up on the shore at Gleneden Beach near Lincoln City.  These devices are generally used by the military to mark locations in the ocean.  They are very dangerous, especially as they dry out and are exposed to air.  Authorities say to call 911 if you happen upon one of these.  They are about 18 inches in length and usually have distinctive labels attached.  This story first reported by KATU TV Portland

Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare begins this Sunday, which means about 800-thousand participants in Oregon have the opportunity to review their Medicare plans. People across the country have until December 7th to look at making changes to their current plans, or to sign up for Medicare. Lisa Emerson, program manager of the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program, says people should review their plans for any changes.

“Plans change their benefits, they change their premiums, co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions they cover, and so it’s important to review because the person could save some money and have better coverage.”

People can make a number of changes during open enrollment, including switching between Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, or changing from one stand-alone prescription drug plan to another. Any changes to plans go into effect at the beginning of next year.