Ambulance and Tree Collide; Winter Weather Woes; COVID-19 Update; Paving Delays; Christmas Tree Pickup

Ambulance and Tree Collide

Early this morning a Western Lane Ambulance collided with a tree on Highway 126.  The tree fell directly in front of the ambulance doing considerable damage to the vehicle.  The only occupants in the vehicle were the two WLAD employees.  There were no injuries reported.  The accident happened at approximately 2:32 this morning.  the ambulance was returning from Sacred Heart Riverbend when the 16 inch diameter tree fell onto

the road at Milepost 21.  The ambulance crew were assisted by ODOT personell who were in the area at the time.  There was light snow on the ground.  Chief Michael Schick said they were grateful that no one was injured in the accident.  The ambulance was eventually towed back to Florence.

Winter Weather Woes

Colder than normal temperatures are expected to stay in our area for the rest of the week, while the Winter Storm advisory and warnings have passed there are still some hazardous conditions along roadways and along highway 126 to Eugene.  Lane County has decided to pause all of their operation group, senior and disability services offices for the day today.  The National weather service has issued a special weather statement for the coast and the Willamette Valley for extremely cold temperatures.  Early this morning snow was still falling through Badger mountain but there were no reported delays.  Cold temperatures have caused the need for the Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter to remain open through at least the end of the week.

COVID-19 Update

Lane County COVID-19 numbers for the coast released yesterday showed an increase of 10 for the Florence Area while reporting 253 cases for the county.  The Oregon Health Authority reported 3,585 cases for the holiday weekend.  Hospitalizations are rising along with the number of new cases.  The OHA is also reporting 25 new deaths.  Governor Kate Brown announced a goal of getting 1 million booster doses by the end of January, but inclement weather may cause a delay at least for the near future with some clinics having to close.

Paving Delays

The winter weather has also slowed down the replacement of the ADA sidewalks along highway 101 likewise the paving of 9th street after the completion of the new water improvements will have to wait.  According to the City of Florence information released the completion of paving will require at least two weeks of dry weather and daytime temperatures in the 50’s.

Christmas Tree Pickup

The Siuslaw Valley Firefighters association will once again be collecting your live Christmas trees.  The event will be this Sunday the second of January and the following Saturday, January 8th.  you will need to schedule a pickup for your tree by calling the administrative office at 997-3212.  A $5 donation is suggested and should be placed in a plastic zip lock bag and attached to the tree.  It is also important to completely clear the tree of ornaments and ornament hangers on the tree.  The trees are chipped and any metal can be dangerous for the process.