Accident Closes 101 Temporarily; Ambulance Wreck; New COVID-19 Numbers; Vax Clinic; Charity Scams; Coldest Temps Tonight

Accident Closes 101 Temporarily

Highway 101 remained closed for more than two and a half hours this morning after an accident that caused a power line to go down across the highway.  The vehicle also took out a fire hydrant.  The driver of the vehicle was transported to Peace Harbor hospital after initially remaining on the scene and was later reevaluated according to Western Lane Fire and EMS’s Matt House.  Central Lincoln PUD responded quickly to try to reconnect power to several homes and businesses along the stretch of road and across to spruce street.  City of Florence Public works had to wait until the electric utility finished in order to work on the hydrant which did cut off water services to local individuals.  The road was reopened just before 9 am with the western lane remaining closed for the time being.

Ambulance Wreck

Early yesterday 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 am Tuesday 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 personnel 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.

New COVID-19 Numbers

There were 157 new cases of COVID-19 reported for Lane County yesterday, one of those cases was attributed to the Florence area with 883 being the new all-time number of cases.  The seven day average for the county is 85.  There was a steep drop in cases reported recently, but it is likely attributed to the holiday weekend and lower testing.  1,900 new cases were reported statewide.  The OHA is also reporting that vaccination rates have dipped over the past several days and now the seven day average is 15,920 doses per day about four thousand less than before the holiday.

Vax Clinic

If you are unvaccinated and wish to get a vaccination or you are ready for a booster beginning Friday the Florence Events center will hold a daily vaccination clinic until the end of January.  With the governor’s goal of getting 1 million boosters completed in the month of January the Oregon Health Authority with Lane County Public Health will hold the clinics with coordination with the City of Florence.  The Clinic will be open from 11am until 7pm Monday through Saturday and 11am until 4 pm on Sunday.  The only date it will not be open is Tuesday January 18th.  the Clinic will also have pediatric vaccinations available and all three of the vaccine choices will be available.

Charity Scams

The Oregon FBI is asking individuals to not let their guard down after the holiday.  They are still seeing a lot of scams being perpetrated and the focus has shifted to charitable giving.  Scammers are taking advantage of the end of the year deadline for charitable giving.  The Oregon FBI is recommending that you only contribute to charities that you are familiar with and to check with the charity’s track record through the Federal Trade Commission’s website at  they are also warning business owners to tell their employees not to click on links or attachments in unfamiliar emails.  This can be particularly concerning for payroll departments according to the alert issued by the Oregon FBI.

Coldest Temps Tonight

Some of the coldest temperatures of the year are expected overnight tonight with numbers falling in the 20’s along the coast.  Animals and plants can be in danger if left prolonged in the cold.  There is even a slight chance of snow in the forecast overnight, but no accumulation is expected.