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WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Lincoln County asks for federal help to rebuild homes/ businesses after the Echo Mtn. Fire

Echo Mountain Fire
Devastation as far as the eye can see…

Mr. David Bibo, Acting Associate Administrator Office of Response and Recovery
Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C Street SW

Through: Mike O’Hare, Regional Administrator Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region 10 US Department of Homeland Security
130 228th Street SW
Bothell, WA 98021-9796

We are writing to request FEMA’s continued consideration, and approval of, the State of Oregon’s request for a Direct Housing Assistance option for Lincoln County, Oregon, due to the devastation wrought on our community by the Echo Mountain Complex Fire. This option must be included along with other assistance alternatives and resources to fully meet needed housing for victims of wildfires in Lincoln County.

On October 2, 2020, the State of Oregon formally requested FEMA to approve Direct Housing Assistance for six of the eight Oregon counties with a federally declared disaster (Jackson, Linn, Marion, Lincoln, Douglas and Lane). On October 7, FEMA responded with approval for Direct Housing Assistance for three counties (Jackson, Linn, Marion) and indicated that the agency “will continue to evaluate whether these is a need to approve any additional counties.”

During the week of September 7, 2020, The Echo Mountain Complex Fire wiped out approximately 300 housing units in the Panther Creek area of North Lincoln County. Many other homes suffered significant damage to water and septic systems and remain uninhabitable. A significant number of the properties destroyed were pre-2004 vintage manufactured homes. Some of these were occupied by lower-income senior citizens. Many provided residences for workers in the hospitality/service industries in Lincoln City who could not afford to live with the city limits.

The American Red Cross Cascades Region has stepped up to house most of the fire-impacted individuals in motels in the greater Lincoln City area, as most had no other housing resources available to them. As of this writing, six weeks after the fire, the Red Cross reports that only a handful of the individuals who they have been housing and feeding have been able to transition to other living arrangements. As of Monday, Oct. 19, they had 299 individuals still temporarily placed in motel rooms.

We understand that rental assistance for many individuals and families who were victims of the fire was very recently increased to 125% of fair market rent (FMR). We thank you for that recognition of the high cost of rentals in our area and the supplemental support you have provided. We hope to hear soon how many families are able to use that assistance to find temporary housing, but we are concerned that there still is a very limited availability of rentals at any price in our tourism based housing stock.

As previously stated, many of these individuals and families are low income. Many were renters and many of those who owned their homes were either uninsured or underinsured. These people have been suddenly thrust into a market where there was already a critical shortage of decent, safe and affordable rental housing. Real estate and property management professionals in the county have said for years that our rental vacancy rate is less than one percent. Even with assistance at above fair market rates there is simply no place for all these people to go once the Red Cross concludes its mission here.

There needs to be additional options available to accommodate the expected need. To the extent that having identified sites for placement of FEMA manufactured housing or other housing is an important element in your decision-making process we want to assure you that county elected leadership and staff has already been working on this question, and multiple potential sites in the greater Lincoln City area have been identified.

If there is additional information Lincoln County can provide to help make our case, please let us know, and please know we stand ready to work with FEMA, Oregon Emergency Management, city leadership and others to provide this most fundamental need for our vulnerable citizens.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.

_______________________ _____________________________

Kaety Jacobson, Doug Hunt, Claire Hall – Lincoln County, Oregon Commissioners

cc: US Senator Jeff Merkley
US Senator Ron Wyden
US Representative Kurt Schrader Governor Kate Brown
Senator Arnie Roblan
Rep. David Gomberg

Traffic Crash – East Devil’s Lake Road

10:38am  Report of a traffic crash near 4575 NE East Devil’s Lake Road.  Emergency responders are enroute.  There are injuries.

10:47am  One lane of traffic is blocked.  Use extreme caution in the area.

 

Gearing up for a Covid-19 vaccine early next year…

Covid-19 Virus

Nevada, Washington and Oregon have joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the panel made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.

“Once again, I am thrilled to work with other states in the Western States Pact to ensure we take care of all our residents by bringing together the best and brightest scientific minds across states borders. We know we are stronger together,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “When the time comes, Nevadans will be able to feel confident in the safety of the vaccine knowing that an independent review by experts across the West gave it their seal of approval.”

Mayor Dean Sawyer
Seeking re-election

This Western States Pact verification process will be happening in lockstep with the federal approval process. The goal is to not have this independent review cause any delay in getting a safe vaccine to the residents in these Western states.

“We appreciate the opportunity to join with other western states to help build confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Richard Whitley, Director of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. “We have worked hard to develop a plan for distribution in our state and when there is an approved vaccine we want Nevadans to know it has been reviewed and deemed safe and effective.”

The review panel is a key component to the state’s initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan which prioritizes those most at risk and is based on the principles of safety, equity and transparency. Nevada will join the Governors of Washington and Oregon, to identify experts to join California’s workgroup to guide the review of any vaccine approved by the FDA.

“As COVID-19 does not stop at state lines, our response to it must similarly cross borders,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Along with our western state partners, California will let science and facts guide our decision making to ensure the safety of our communities.”

“We believe in science, public health and safety. That is why I am pleased that Washington is joining California and other western states in this effort,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. “Any COVID vaccine must be guided by the expertise of scientists and medical professionals and that’s just what this workgroup will do. The Western States Pact will continue working together to ensure the best health outcomes for everyone in our states.”

“The vaccines currently in development, once approved, are what Americans have been waiting for to protect their families, their children, and their loved ones in long-term care facilities,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone, especially communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this disease.”

This is not the first time Western States have collaborated in response to COVID-19. In April, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Nevada joined in a Western States Pact which shared a vision for fighting COVID-19 and reopening their economies. Western State leaders in May urged congressional leaders to approve $1 trillion in COVID-19 relief for states and local governments and are partnering to pilot a project testing new exposure notification technology pioneered by Google and Apple.

Covid-19 keeps taking down lives across Oregon

Covid-19 Virus

COVID-19 has claimed seven more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 671, the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. today.

Oregon Health Authority reported 424 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. today bringing the state total to 43,228.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Baker (8), Benton (3), Clackamas (35), Clatsop (2), Columbia (1), Coos (7), Crook (2), Deschutes (26), Douglas (4), Hood River (2), Jackson (35), Klamath (3), Lake (3), Lane (34), Lincoln (1), Linn (11), Malheur (16), Marion (34), Morrow (1), Multnomah (110), Polk (6), Tillamook (2), Umatilla (17), Union (9), Wasco (1), Washington (48), and Yamhill (3).

Oregon’s 665th COVID-19 death is a 55-year-old man in Jefferson County who tested positive on July 18 and died on Sept. 13 at St. Charles Medical Center Madras. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 666th COVID-19 death is an 81-year-old man in Multnomah County who tested positive on Oct. 11 and died on Oct. 24 at Adventist Health Portland. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 667th COVID-19 death is a 68-year-old woman in Multnomah County who tested positive on Aug. 14 and died on Oct. 24 at Kaiser Westside Medical Center. She had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 668th COVID-19 death is a 58-year-old woman in Coos County who tested positive on Oct. 15 and died on Oct. 22 in her residence. She had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 669th COVID-19 death is a 78-year-old man in Jackson County who tested positive on Oct. 13 and died on Oct. 26 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. He had underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 670th COVID-19 death is a 62-year-old man in Clackamas County who tested positive on Sept. 18 and died on Oct. 24 at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center. He did not have underlying conditions.

Oregon’s 671st COVID-19 death is an 85-year-old woman in Washington County who tested positive on Oct. 16 and died on Oct. 23 at Kaiser Westside Medical Center. Presence of underlying conditions is being confirmed.

NOTE: Updated information is available about Oregon’s 447th COVID-19 death, a man in Multnomah County. His age was incorrectly reported as 29. He was 34. OHA regrets this error.

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