Mapleton Water Woes; High Wind Warning; Chamber Announced FLOCAL E-Gift Cards; COVID Case Count; OR 138 Still Closed; Breakthrough Cases Growing

Mapleton Water Woes

The Mapleton Water District is asking residents on their system to reduce the amount of water they are using.  For how long is not known at this time.  New Water Board president Millie Rochon says the creek that feeds the water filtration system is taxed from recent rains and fall foliage.

“Right now we are not able to filter any water, basically because of mother nature.  Berkshire Creek, that feeds our water plant, is so filled with leaves and turbidity just the mud, the wind, everything has stormed it up and we’re having trouble filtering the water to fill the tanks.”

The conservation effort includes car washing, power washing, and other outdoor watering.  Rochon says they are working diligently to fix the issue.

“We have a crew up there working hard on this trying to fix the filtration system so that it can handle it and clean out the sediment tanks but as of right now we do not have a clear time line.”

Rochon says this part of the issue from the system breakage in the summer of 2020 after the fire and they are still using the rented filtration skid, but progress is being made for a permanent solution.

High Wind Warning

A fast moving wind event is expected to sweep through the area today with winds up to 65 mph.  The high wind warning has been issued for the central Oregon coast from 10 am until 2pm today.  The area can expect steady 35-45 mph winds.  The event could produce downed trees and power lines.  Winds are expected to subside later on in the day.

Chamber Announced FLOCAL E-Gift Cards

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with a virtual gift card company to offer businesses the opportunity to sell gift cards.  The move is to encourage shopping and to keep the money spent, particularly during the holiday season, but also all year round, in the Florence area.  Chamber president and CEO Bettina Hannigan says the Flocal E-gift card can be offered by businesses to their shoppers for free and is a virtual card that can be accessed on the holder’s phone.  The e-gift can also be printed out.  The Flocal program is offered to all local businesses and not just chamber members.

COVID Case Count

Lane County Public health has added another COVID-19 case to the 97439 zip code.  That is 10 more than Thursday morning’s report and brings the Florence area total to 754 cases.  Totals for Lane County as of yesterday morning were 33.  Lane County, at least for the time being, has updated their site over the weekend.  The latest numbers are from yesterday.

OR 138 Still Closed

For travelers, the section of highway 138, the Elkton to Sutherlin highway remains closed.  ODOT crews had hoped to open the road over the weekend, but the debris removal was significant and is taking longer with road repairs also needed in order to allow for traffic to pass.  Detour signs are up and will take drivers an additional 9 miles on Bullock road which runs along the river on the opposite side.

Breakthrough Cases Growing

The number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 continues to grow.  The Oregon Health Authority is now reporting 29 percent of cases of the virus are in vaccinated individuals for a total of 1,962 cases.  OHA says the average age of the breakthrough individuals is 48.  Cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease according to the latest numbers from the OHA.