Oregon Dunes - Florence Oregon

Storm Issues; Whale Watching; Auxiliary Toy Drive; Rail Bridge Rehab; Road Re-opened

Storm Issues

By noon yesterday afternoon Central Lincoln PUD had announced that outages caused by Monday nights storm had been repaired.  The last significant outage on the north side of Mercer Lake had been repaired by 1 pm yesterday.  More severe weather is expected to occur throughout the day today with another high wind warning in effect until 1 pm this afternoon.  Wind gusts could reach as high as 55 miles per hour with rain in the mix.  Peak winds in yesterdays storm reached 65 miles per hour in some locations and rain totals were in the 2 to 3 inch range for the 24 period.

Whale Watching

If you enjoy whale watching it is the peak season for the grey whale migration.  According to ODFW over 20 thousand grey whales are expected to swim along the Oregon coast between now and mid January.  The area along Sea Lion caves, as well as the Umpqua Lighthouse are two of the areas ODFW says are ideal for whale watching.  The grey whale makes it trek to the warmer waters near Baja at this time of the year.

Auxiliary Toy Drive

Commander John Pitcher of the Florence Police department says their annual Toy Drive hosted by the Florence Auxiliary, doled out over 100 toys to children that visited and got their picture taken with Santa.  Along with that two bikes were raffled off and an additional 2 bikes were donated by members of the community and those bikes were given away at random chosen by the Siuslaw school district and School Resource Officer Brandon Bailey.  The annual event is made possible by generous donations of gifts, time and money by the Florence community, the members of the Auxiliary, and the Florence Police Department.

Rail Bridge Rehab

A 20 million dollar grant has been awarded to the Oregon Internation Port of Coos Bay.  The federal grant is to be used to rehabilitate 15 bridges along the Coos Bay Rail Line.  One of the bridges slated for rehab is the Siuslaw River Swing Bridge in Cushman.  The line was closed from 2007 to 2011 until it was purchased by the Port.  Mayor Joe Henry said a wish that he had would be to see a commuter train along that line.

Road Re-opened

Lane county has announced that Big Creek Road has reopened.  Crews removed a downed tree and root ball from the road at milepost 2.1 after yesterdays storm.