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WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Jim Voetberg, City Manager: City Response to Storms

Jim Voetberg, Newport City Manager

Jim Voetberg, Newport City Manager, reported that “city staff has reacted proactively and prudently to the recent severe winter storms.” He added that “the city’s management team held a planning meeting on Tuesday when it became clear that serious, and potentially damaging, winter storms would strike the city.”

He noted that “because of this strategy session, the city has been able to keep most facilities operating on regular schedules, noting the Recreation Center and Senior Center were closed Thursday due to capacity issues with the sewer system. Both facilities are planned to be open on Friday as scheduled.” He added, “The Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works crews are staffed with extra employees and volunteers which allows for quicker responses to the many smaller issues throughout town.”

Voetberg added that “the city has experienced a few issues with both the water and sewer systems. Infiltration in the Agate Beach area has caused the sewer lift station to overflow, bypassing into the ocean. The city has notified DEQ as required. In a separate incident, power fluctuations caused a controller in a water booster station serving residents in the NE 71st Street area to fail, severely impacting water pressure. As of 5:00 P.M., a technician with repair parts is enroute to repair the pump.”

Voetberg reported that the “city has been faring well in regard to flooding. City crews have responded immediately to any flooding issue, and have been able to stay ahead of serious flooding.”

Voetberg acknowledged city staff in its response to the myriad of storm-related issues that have arisen. He reported that “the Fire Department has
responded to 15 alarms by augmenting the paid staff with 60 volunteer hours and 74 overtime hours by the paid staff.”
The Police Department has responded to multiple storm-related incidents, including downed trees, power lines, cables, flooded areas, traffic crashes, and hazards.

City staff continues to participate in Lincoln County Emergency Management updates, and the Police and Fire Departments are geared up to open an Emergency Operation Center at the Police Department.
Voetberg reiterated that “residents should minimize travel during the duration of the storm, and recommended that every household have a “72-Hour Kit,” including water and food.”

Fire Chief, Phil Paige, recommended that “all residents register for the Everbridge emergency notification service.” Residents can register by clicking the link on the city website at www.newportoregon.gov.

Voetberg reported that “city staff is committed to doing whatever possible to maximize the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens and visitors to the city, and to minimize risk. Staff will continue monitoring the weather in an effort to proactively handle storm-related issues.”

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