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Elkton residents get back up after storm as outage continues

Despite not having power, and the possibility of it not coming back for up to three weeks, community members said they are resilient.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 7:01 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2019 6:11 PM

ELKTON, Ore. -- Elkton residents have been without power for about a week, and it could be another three weeks until the lights come back on, but community members say they're resilient.

At Elkton High School, the Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter to help community members who need a shower, warm meal and a place to sleep.

With the school's power back up and running with the help of a generator, students returned on Monday after four snow days last week.

"It's actually great to see kids and get them back here and get some services and get them showered and clean and all those things, and fed here shortly, so it's good to see kids," Superintendent Andy Boe said.

Officials with the Douglas County Electric Cooperative said it could be up to three weeks until power is restored in Elkton, but Red Cross officials said they'll continue to offer services at the high school for as long as it's needed.

"It's huge for us to be able to provide that, to give them the space," Boe said. "We went out and got generators and were proactive to do that so ... the school district could provide the services as far as the space goes."

Elkton resident Debra Koelher said she lost power on Sunday night and went without it for eight days. She said she got a generator up and running on Sunday.

"I decided to turn on the Oscars to see if the queen movie won best picture, and the power went out," she said.

Koelher said she couldn't leave her home for about three days because a tree was knocked down on the road that led to her home.

"It is like time travel," she said. "I feel like we got kicked back to the 1860s, and once we were able to get out in our cars, it was more like the 1910s, ya know, now we are a little bit more advanced than that."

Aaron Vanloon manages Elkton Food Center and Deli with his dad and said it's a hub in the community for people looking for food and supplies.

Vanloon said the store went dark Sunday night, and some freezers in the store still aren't running. He said the only reason they are still able to sell some refrigerated items is because the temperature in the store keeps them chilled.

"I couldn't get here for the first three days because of the highways being closed," Vanloon said. "And that's really hard because there was a lot of locals that were snowed up in the homes and they couldn't get any supplies they needed for the first three days."

Even a week later, on your way into Elkton, you're still greeted by a row of downed trees and power lines along Highway 38.

Crews are still working to get power back up, but it's slow going.

"It's been a mix -- a roller coaster," Vanloon said. "It's hard because its hard to come in and just see everything we're gonna lose and yet I have to be here for the people that need stuff. There's a lot of people coming in that are very grateful that I'm here."

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