Siuslaw River Bridge

Bridge Accident; Yesterday’s 126 Closure; Boosters Key for Florence; New Numbers in Florence; Communications Position Open

Bridge Accident

An accident yesterday afternoon caused a back up of traffic along Highway 101.  Emergency crews responded to a two vehicle wreck on the Siuslaw River Bridge at approximately 4:15.  Both lanes of the bridge were affected and the bridge was closed down until about 5:30.  There was no report on any of the individuals involved in the accident but there was an ambulance on scene.  Traffic backed up north of the bridge to Highway 126 and south to south Jetty Road.  We will have more details when they become available.

Yesterday’s 126 Closure

Highway 126 at Cushman had to be closed again due to high waters. An 8 foot high tide hit at 1:22 yesterday causing the road under the train tressel to flood.  The road was reopened at approximately 4:45.  There is potential for more flooding in the area as high tide will once again be significant at 7.6 feet.

Boosters Key for Florence

Lane County is experiencing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases and that has caused some concern for health officials for the county.  Jason Davis says that while they don’t have the sequencing information on the current strains available to them he says it is a best bet that at least 50% of the cases are the omicron variant.  The county has also seen hospitalizations go from 14 -42 in one week.  Davis said they reached out to the Oregon Health Authority to make a significant push for vaccines which led to the current daily clinics in Florence.

“We need help, we just don’t have the staffing to be able to do the pediatric vaccines, to be able to do the boosters, primary doses , everything all at once, and so thankfully they came through and three days after the phone call we had the annex set up and a couple weeks after that we were able to get them over in Florence.”

Davis says while the area is seeing about an 80% vaccination rate, the booster dose rate is falling behind.  He says the booster is now a significant part of the success of cutting into Omicron Numbers.  In addition there is still a significant number of unvaccinated individuals.  Dr. Willie Foster with Peace harbor hospital says there are unvaccinated individuals as young as 16 that have had to be transferred to PeaceHealth Riverbend for treatment.

New Numbers in Florence

The Florence area is seeing almost daily numbers of new COVID cases with 6 more added to yesterday’s total for an all time total of 916.  There has been an increase of 56 cases over the past two weeks alone.  There were 443 cases reported yesterday for Lane County and the county is currently averaging a daily case count of 222.  The state also reported an alarming 4,540 cases yesterday and there are 510 people currently hospitalized with 111 in intensive care units.

Communications Position Open

The City of Florence is looking to fill a position at the Justice center.  The Florence Police department is looking for a full time communication’s officer to handle 911 calls and dispatch emergency services.