Cracking open Oregon DEQ so citizens can know what’s coming up the street…

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Jan 192017

After many citizen and no small quantity of news media outlet complaints about slow service, Portland State University launched a study into why people can’t find out from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, which businesses in their communities are emitting various levels of air and water pollution.

Portland State has issued its findings and it confirms what many already knew about DEQ – that staff shortages and a long-time vacancy in the DEQ director position have made public records requests a very low priority – if not by design then certainly as a result.

Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 8:42 AM

What’s what on Winter Conditions from OEM

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Jan 192017

From Office of Emergency Management – Salem

As severe weather continues to rage across the state, Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management activated the state Emergency Coordination Center (ECC). OEM staff and state emergency support representatives are gathered to assist with resource requests as communities are pummeled with ice, high winds and blowing snow.

Interstate 84 is closed between Troutdale and Hood River due to ice; the highway is also closed between Pendleton to Ontario as blowing snow creates blizzard-like conditions. OEM and the Oregon Department of Transportation urges motorists to stay off the roads.

State ECC Manager Kelly Jo Craigmiles says that the ECC is facilitating resources for affected counties, as well as areas in eastern and central Oregon. Ice, flooding concerns, sandbags and snow removal are the biggest needs at this time, although power outages, landslides and avalanches are also a concern.

Numerous weather advisories and warnings ( are in place in all parts of Oregon, including:
– Ice storm warning for the east Columbia Gorge;
– Winter storm warning in the south central Oregon Cascades, the Siskiyou Mountains and Southern Oregon Cascades;
– Flood advisory in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Deschutes, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill counties;
– Flood watch for central coast range of western Oregon, central Oregon coast; central Willamette Valley, Coast Range of Northwest Oregon, the greater Portland-metro area and the North Oregon Coast.

In addition, wind advisories are in effect in the Grande Ronde Valley and foothills of the Northern Blue Mountains, with gusts reaching 75-85 miles per hour.

OEM encourages residents to stay informed. Watch local news, listen to local radio and use smartphone apps to receive up-to-date weather information. Sign up for local text alerts. Be 2 Weeks Ready (, have a communications plan and be prepared for power outages.

* Check that emergency kits are stocked and readily accessible with flashlight(s), radio, batteries, food, water and blankets/extra clothes.
* If you are using a generator, understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely (
* Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
* Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics. Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
* Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
* Check on family and neighbors to see if they are in need of support

Individuals who are vision impaired, hearing impaired or mobility impaired should take additional steps to prepare for disasters:

* Ensure all assistive technology, communication devices and other power-dependent medical equipment is fully charged so that these devices are useable in the event of a power outage.
* Call personal care attendants, dialysis and oxygen providers to identify support plans and/or make plans to stay with friends or family members in the event of a power outage.
* Write out an emergency information card, including any medications, allergies, sensory or mobility impairments, equipment you need and emergency contact numbers.
* If you live in an assisted living facility, find out what its emergency plans are.
* If you’re mobility impaired, identify two accessible escape routes.
* Write an information card which includes the best way to communicate with you or move you if necessary.
* If you must leave the house, have an emergency kit with essential medications, and extra food and water. If you have a service animal, make the kit has supplies for them as well.
* If you must leave the house, have an emergency kit with essential medications and some extra food and water. If you have a service animal, make the kit has supplies for them as well.
* Protect your service animal’s feet: use boots or clean them off once you get inside.

In an emergency situation, contact 9-1-1.

 Posted by at 8:19 AM

Watch out for slide areas. They strike without warning!

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Jan 192017

A landslide has closed OR 36 Mapleton-Junction City Highway three miles west of Triangle Lake (mp 24.5). Travelers are advised to take alternate routes. Debris from a small slide was removed nearby earlier today and a substantial slide has now occurred. This may be an extended closure.

 Posted by at 8:08 AM

Weather or Not: Rain Rollercoaster

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Jan 192017

Thursday, Jan. 19th – Lincoln County

Summary: The High Wind Warning expired on time at 10:00am yesterday, and the Flood Watch was canceled early around noon. The storm slowly wound down with winds gusting just under 50 mph in the morning before easing substantially, and there was about an inch of rain for the day, lower amounts in the north and higher in the south. Our two-day storm total precipitation was just under 3 inches along the Central Coast. Showers, some fairly heavy, continued through the afternoon and into the evening; light rain fell occasionally overnight and the breeze was down to 15-25 mph. This morning, it was mostly cloudy, showery and southerly winds had faded further to 10-15 mph.

Newport Airport Conditions…
Ceiling: scattered @ 800’ & 1,100’, broken @ 1,800’
Visibility: 5 miles/Wind: S 11 mph/Altimeter: 29.62”

Past 24 Hours High/Low//Gust/Rain…
Lincoln City: 55F/49F/49mph/0.77”
Depoe Bay: 53F/47F/41mph/0.76”
Newport: 52F/45F/49mph/0.82”
Waldport: 52F/43F/48mph/1.12”
Yachats: 54F/48F/48mph/1.68”

wxon-twitterBe sure to follow Weather or Not’s Twitter feed to keep current on Winter’s rapidly changing conditions. You’ll get updated travel info and notification of any new advisories, watches or warnings. Follow @chrisburnswx.

Forecast: We’ll be on a precipitation rollercoaster for the next several days as showers turn to steady rain and vice versa through the weekend and into next week. Showers are likely today, thunderstorms possible this morning, southwest winds gusting 25 and a high of 50F. Tonight and tomorrow, look for rain, up to three-quarters of an inch, a southerly breeze 20-30 mph, the mercury slipping to 40F overnight and rising to 50F by Friday afternoon. Outlook is for showers Saturday, rainy and windy Sunday, showers Monday and Tuesday, then a chance for some sunshine Wednesday. The thermometer stays seasonal with highs of 50F and lows of 40F.

Travel: In the Coast Range, there’s wet pavement, showers, temperature right at 40F in the passes; rain, decreasing showers today, high 45F. Willamette Valley destinations are expecting showers, temps 45-50F. The Columbia River Gorge forecast calls for showers, possible light freezing rain, light southwest winds, highs of 30-35F. For the Cascades, there’s packed snow on the highways this morning, snow flurries, carry chains or traction tires, except chains required over Willamette Pass, temp 30F; snow showers decreasing today, the snow level is 3,500 feet, 1-3 inches of new snow expected. * Motorists should always visit ODOT’s TripCheck before hitting the road.

Marine: The breeze is SSW 15-20 knots gusting 25 with seas 13 feet at 11 seconds this morning. Small Craft Advisories for winds and hazardous seas are in effect through late tonight. SW winds 20-25 knots gusting 30 early, easing to 10-15 knots gusting 20 later today, swells 15 feet at 12 seconds. Southerlies continue tonight 20-25 knots gusting 35, except for nearshore waters where SE winds should be down to 10-15 knots, swells building to 17 feet at 14 seconds. Tomorrow, SE winds 20-25 knots gusting 30 with swells 17 feet at 16 seconds. Outlook is for SW winds 20-25 knots Saturday, swells 23 feet, southerlies 30-35 knots Sunday, combined seas 18 feet, then E winds 25-30 knots Monday, swells 17 feet. * Make sure you check the latest Bar Reports before venturing offshore.

On the Beach… Showers, breezy, surf 8-10 feet (moderate).
* For a safe and enjoyable time on the Central Coast, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department offers these Beach Safety Tips.
* Tides
01/19 Thu 11:47 AM 2.77 L
01/19 Thu 05:36 PM 6.07 H
01/19 Thu 11:21 PM 2.77 L
01/20 Fri 06:06 AM 8.01 H

In Short: Showers, rain, then mainly wet and occasionally windy.

 Posted by at 8:00 AM

Crabbers are furiously unloading their catches to head back out asap….

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Jan 182017

F/V Anona Kay unloading crabs on the Newport waterfront
Ken Gagne photos

There’s a lot of big crabs out there still waiting to be harvested! F/V Anona Kay

Rocky start to the season isn’t slowing them down…

F/V Captain Tony Applegate and his crew aboard the Anona Kay!

 Posted by at 10:23 PM

Oregon lawmakers move to preserve Oregon womens’ reproductive health

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Jan 182017

State Capitol

This week the republican controlled U.S. House and Senate took steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act even though republican leaders admit they have nothing to replace it with. And as President-elect Donald Trump prepares for his inauguration on Friday he simply continues to promise that the ACA will be replaced very quickly with a superior program – although he too has not ventured any guess what it is. But Trump promises…”It’ll be great for everybody.”

But there are those in the Oregon legislature that are not taking either the Congress or Mr. Trump at their word. They’ve introduced a bill that regardless of what happens to the ACA, Oregon women will continue to have reproductive and other health care coverage through state run medical programs.

Here’s more in The Oregonian. Click here.

 Posted by at 9:43 PM

Traffic Crashes in the area

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Jan 182017

Traffic crash in front of the Thriftway Market in Gleneden Beach. Some delay in traffic getting the crash scene.

Another traffic crash has occurred on Highway 18 Salmon River Highway 8 miles east of Otis. Traffic delays there too.

And then over in the valley, a traffic crash on Highway 153 near its intersection with Highway 18. More delays.

 Posted by at 8:32 PM

Blowin’ up a foam storm!

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Jan 182017

Southerly winds really junkin’ up the scenery!
Bill Posner photo

Pray for rain…
Bill Posner photo

 Posted by at 4:57 PM