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Lane County helping rural communities hit by winter storm

Highway 58 has been closed as crews work to clear the roadway.

The county is sending supplies to Oakridge and is working to restore cell service in the McKenzie Valley.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 5:19 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2019 6:12 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Lane County Emergency Management has been working to help rural residents being affected by the recent winter storm, county spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge said.

In Oakridge, the county and the Red Cross are sending a convoy with food, water, diapers, baby food, medication, insulin, oxygen tanks, batteries, pet supplies from the Greenhill Humane Society, and more to Oakridge High School, which is currently operating as a warming center and shelter.

Ashbridge said Eric Plebuch of Peterson CAT is supplying a generator and electrician for the Oakridge shelter. The equipment will move as soon as Highway 58 is passable.

Lane County Fleet Services is also providing a mechanic to assist with trapped and abandoned vehicles along the highway to support the Oregon Department of Transportation’s efforts to clear the roadway.

Search and Rescue delivered oxygen to Oakridge Fire.

In the McKenzie Valley, Fire and Rescue have established a warming center at the Leaburg Fire Station. They have a water-filling station, heat and coffee for residents. The Upper McKenzie Fire Station, 56578 McKenzie Highway, is also being used as a warming center.

Ashbridge said Lane County, Verizon and the Eugene Water & Electric Board are working to reach a communications tower that serves the McKenzie Valley to make repairs. Once the tower is back online, it will provide emergency responder communication and cell phone service.

The City of Eugene is transporting a satellite cellular service tower to support emergency communication until the tower is repaired.

Lane County is operating a non-emergency inquiry line to address questions and concerns until conditions improve. Contact the call center at 541-682-3977 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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