EUGENE, Ore. — The past weekend’s storm comes on the heels of December’s storm, but this one could be more costly. In fact, cuts could be made to pay for it.
The latest storm was shorter than December’s storm but it was more intense. The amount of snow the area got over the past weekend hasn’t been seen in such a short period of time in 24 years.
The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department says it responded to 481 calls for service between Feb. 7 and 9. Crews transported 208 people to the hospital, with 88 just on Saturday. They responded to seven power lines dropped on houses and five structure fires.
According to the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department, crews mainly responded to motor vehicle accidents. But in the latest storm, they also had to respond to downed trees and power calls, over 50 in all. On top of plowing and sanding the roads, Eugene Public Works crews are also cleaning up debris. It’s estimating storm costs at $125,000 and that figure is still going up because crews are only half done.
“Public works does have some emergency response budget and the December storm depleted that budget, so the funds that will pay for this event will be in the form of cutting programs through the rest of the fiscal year to balance,” says Melysa Slavkovsky with Eugene Public Works.
As for the city of Springfield, officials say it’s too early to put a dollar amount on their cleanup costs. The city does expect to exceed December’s cost, which is $45,000 so far.
Public works crews have finished plowing first priority routes and they’ve almost made their way through the rest of the roads. They’re estimating a little over a week left of cleanup.