Strong Winds Sweep the Coast

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FLORENCE, Ore. — While the heavy wind and rain continues along the coast, utility and public works crews say it can’t be any worse than Friday night. Friday night’s winds ranged anywhere from 45 miles per hour to 65 and up to 85 on certain parts of the coast. So, that is why the City of Florence’s Public Works Department along with the local utility company said they were so prepared before leaving the office that night.

It was the calm before the second storm Saturday morning, but it was a different scene overnight.

Florence resident Jay Cable said, “I was talking to somebody this morning and thought it wasn’t so bad, but then I looked out on our porch and saw that all the chairs had moved down to the end.”

Central Lincoln Public Utility Board (CLPUD) Distribution Engineering and Operations Manager said, “At 2 a.m., we lost the northeast section of Toledo, and we lost two lines south of her along Siltcoos Road on the east side of Siltcoos Lake, and we had a small outage up the north fork of the Siuslaw River.”

CLPUD said 533 of its customers had gone without power–130 in Florence alone. But while utility crews were busy, public works said it may have gotten lucky Friday night, but it was more than ready to face whatever Mother Nature had in store.

Public Works Director Mike Miller said, “What we do is prepare all of our equipment ahead of time. So, our chainsaws are sharpened. Our trucks are fueled up. Equipment is ready to go, including our generators.”

And though things started off quietly, as the day went on and the closer we got to the water, the stronger the gusts. But, that didn’t stop folks from making the most of their day.

Barbara Bakke, a visitor from Eugene, said, “At least it’s not raining. I’m ok with this, because if it was wet and this windy, it would be very unbearable.”

It was wet and windy all day long, and with the possibility of thunderstorms, folks were preparing for a high surf warning Saturday night.

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