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Blue River's internet woes continue months after Holiday Farm Fire

For many students and other residents, a local store is the only place in the area to get internet access.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 6:39 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 11:41 AM

BLUE RIVER, Ore. -- Internet access in the McKenzie River Valley has proven to be an issue residents are still dealing with months after the Holiday Farm Fire.

"We're limping through a semi-normal situation," said Wendy King, an employee at the Tokatee golf course.

Tokatee Golf Club in Blue River was one property left untouched by the fire. It's has been open for a while now but is still without phones or reliable internet of their own. They have to get their Wi-Fi from mobile towers at Blue Sky Market. And they're not the only ones.

Employees told KEZI 9 News every day there are kids huddled in their parents' cars near the mobile internet sites just so they can finish school.

"We used to get our internet through CenturyLink, and so since that is gone and since the infrastructure is going to take a very long time to fix, FEMA came in and they helped set us up (at Blue Sky Market)," said King.

While life without phone service or internet is inconvenient, for some it's the least of their worries.

"We have 230 clients across six hotels across in Eugene and Springfield," said Nadine McCrindle, Director for the Red Cross in Eastern and Central Oregon.

They've been there edging on three months and McCrindle said that will likely last until the holidays.

King said the McKenzie River is a place where "warriors" live.

"It's amazing to see how strong they are and how willing they are even they don't have a home they're willing to help you with something you need help with," she said.

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