Local News – Respite from the Rain; Relay for Life Kickoff; Siuslaw Bank Branch Flooded; 126 Corridor Planning

Coast Radio News
Local News

Lines go back up as the water goes down…

As of yesterday afternoon just about every PUD customer in Western Lane and Douglas Counties had been reconnected to the grid following last week’s storms.  There still may be a handful of individuals without electricity today, but by the end of the day Central Lincoln PUD expects to have the lights on for everyone.

A series of storms swept ashore beginning early Wednesday morning, at one time leaving an estimated 7-thousand homes without power on the Central Coast.  PUD Operations Manager Gary Nieborski said the brunt of the damage centered on the Florence area.

The storm also brought near-record flooding in Mapleton with the river reaching a crest of 28.07 feet, the fourth highest recorded.  Waters have fallen steadily since then, dropping below flood stage on Saturday afternoon.  Highway 126 at Cushman was closed briefly Saturday during high tide, but reopened a few hours later.  The river level on the Siuslaw is expected to continue falling until tomorrow when rains are forecast once again.  The National Weather Service is not predicting any flooding at this time.

Flood waters inundated several homes on the Siuslaw River last week, and for the fifth time on record it also filled the lobby of Siuslaw Bank in Mapleton.  At the peak of the flooding Thursday, water reached as high as the counters at the teller row.  Bank officials were able to remove many items Wednesday night as the waters were rising.  What they weren’t able to move, they raised above the expected high water.  Now they’re in cleanup mode and the branch will remain closed until repairs are complete.  Until they reopen, customers can access their accounts online, or at the Florence Branch.

Relay for Life Kickoff

The compelling personal story of Woody and Glenna Woodbury will be one highlight of tonight’s Florence Relay for Life Kickoff event at Best Western Pier Point Inn.  The annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society officially kicks off this evening and organizers say teams that are registered and paid prior to six pm will get a special gift.

Highway 126 Planning

The stretch of Highway 126 between Veneta and Eugene has a “slightly higher” rate of crashes than on similar highways throughout the state and averages two fatalities or debilitating injuries each year according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.  It also handles about 14,500 daily vehicle trips on average, with the traffic increasing to 18-thousand daily trips during the summer.  A project is currently underway to determine how to allow for safer travel on that route.  Alternatives include improving Clear Lake Road to the north of Fern Ridge Reservoir; Widening the existing 126 roadway; and shifting some traffic to Cantrell Road just to the south.  A public forum will be held tomorrow from six to eight pm at Elmira High School to share information and get input from the public on the options.

Viking Wrestling at Sutherlin Invitational

No prep basketball over the weekend.  All contests will be rescheduled because of the weather.  But there was some wrestling action at the Sutherlin Invitational.  Only a dozen of the expected 19 teams made it, and many, including the Siuslaw Vikings, brought only skeleton crews.  Peter Tupua won the 285 pound weight class and Jesse Kuntz tied for 3rd at 171.  Coach Neil Wartnik said the highlight of the meet for his team was the first ever win on the mats by Kasey Kawahara… wrestling at 152 pounds in the JV class he beat his first opponent.