WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Crestview School: Back in session Monday, April 22. Spring break will be finally over…

Crestview Heights School Waldport

Crestview Heights School
Waldport

Crestview seventh and eighth-grade students will be back in class on Monday, April 15, at Waldport High School. Several Crestview staff members will be at the high school Monday morning to greet their students, show them the way to their new classrooms, and help to smooth the transition.

Crestview elementary students, grades k-6, will be back in class on Monday, April 22. The location of their temporary classrooms will be determined on Thursday, April 18, once site inspections and other details are completed. A meeting for parents of elementary students is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at Crestview Heights School.

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Lab results show that the air quality inside Crestview Heights School is good, Lincoln County School District officials said Friday. While repairs and remodeling continue at the school, the plan is for students to finish the school year in temporary classrooms.

On Friday, April 19, community and school volunteers will rally to help teachers move their classrooms into the temporary location. People interested in helping are asked to call the school at 541-563-3237.

Plans for making up the missed days of school have not been finalized.

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Waldport dumping their old tsunami sirens but preparing for both ‘distant’ and ‘Cascadia’ tsunami event

Waldport City Council Thursday

Waldport City Council
Thursday

Jenny Demaris Lincoln County Emergency Manager

Jenny Demaris
Lincoln County Emergency Manager

Lincoln County Emergencies Manager Jenny Demaris is making the rounds of local cities, helping them to be better prepared for any emergency, but for earthquakes and tsunamis especially.

Demaris told the Waldport City Council Thursday that much of Waldport’s business area and a large number of homes are just a few feet above sea level and therefore are directly in the path of most distant tsunamis and definitely in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake 250 miles off the coast of Oregon and the large tsunami that would be created from it.

Demaris said a distant tsunami created by an Alaskan earthquake could damage Waldport but nothing like the disaster power of a Cascadia event. Demaris said updated tsunami inundation and escape route maps are about to be delivered throughout Lincoln County so locals and tourists can know which way is up and which route to take to get there.

Demaris outlined a number of public outreach events coming up in May. On May 1st at noon, there will be a news conference held at the the Lincoln County Commission Chambers where officials will introduce the new tsunami evacuation maps for communities throughout Lincoln County and a preview of the county’s information outreach campaign.

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Here it is:

* Leading off the campaign will be two Tsunami Readiness Rallies in Lincoln City May 7th – both at the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Highway 101. One at 3pm, the other at 7pm. The new tsunami maps and other emergency preparedness information will be shared by the Oregon Department of Geology and the Lincoln County Office of Emergency Management.

* On May 9th, another Tsunami Readiness Rally will be held at 6:30pm at Waldport High School on Hemlock/Highway 34 in Waldport. The new evacuation maps will be handed out and other information as was given in Lincoln City.

* The same for Newport residents on May 11th, at 10am. The Tsunami Readiness Rally will be conducted at the Agate Beach Best Western just off Highway 101 just north of Walmart.

* And then another Tsunami Readiness Rally will be held May 18th, 10:30am, for the Bayshore and Sandpiper communities north of Waldport guided by personnel from the Seal Rock Fire District.

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The Waldport City Council then talked about the town’s aging tsunami warning sirens. It was agreed that all three of the 55 year old devices should be retired due to age and the fact they don’t work well anyway. Emergencies Manager Jennie Demaris says many communities are not relying on tsunami sirens since even when they are activated many people inside their homes and while driving in their cars can’t hear them. She said the widely used “Everbridge” notification system is far more effective at notifying residents of an approaching tsunami via email, text, cellphone, internet news websites as well as over local TV and radio stations. However, that’s just for tsunamis generated in Alaska, Japan, South America, Indonesia and other seismically active areas around the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. If it’s the Cascadia earthquake, the shaking itself will be your only tsunami warning. When the shaking is over, everyone is to immediately head for higher ground and stay there until an all clear signal is given.

Demaris says getting everyone in Lincoln County up to speed on being prepared for distant tsunamis and the Cascadia “big one” is going to be a big job – but it’s got to be done in order to save as many lives as can be saved. “The better prepared we are, the more people will survive it,” she said.

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Making Waldport more “bicycle friendly”

Waldport City Council Thursday

Waldport City Council
Thursday

Rick Hill Green Bike, Waldport

Rick Hill
Green Bike, Waldport

Sharrows being installed in Newport

Sharrows being installed in Newport

Green Bike, a service that provides free bicycles to anyone who wants to use them to get around Waldport, is looking to make bicycling a little nicer for locals and visitors alike. Green Bike lead mechanic and volunteer coordinator Rick Hill told the council he would like the council to authorize adding “Sharrows” to city streets where bicycling is encouraged. Sharrows are painted (or vinyl applied) symbols on regular travel roads to remind motorists that bicycles can be expected to use the roads as well, and to be on the lookout for them. It’s a safety thing.

Hill said that Newport recently added sharrows to a number of their streets as a safety reminder. Hill said Newport loans the stencils to other Lincoln County communities free of charge. He asked the council to designate which streets the sharrows should be painted on. Mayor Susan Woodruff said it would most likely have to be just on city streets for starters – maybe not on Highway 101 or 34, since those are under the jurisdiction of ODOT. Councilors came up with a number of streets that the sharrows would be good for by routing visitors to specific locations like parks, the port, visitors center, the beach, the post office, etc. City Manager Nancy Leonard said she’ll contact ODOT to see if they’d entertain sharrows and, if so, where.

Hill also posed the idea of the council establishing specific bike routes throughout the area so tourists could more fully enjoy their bike riding in Waldport. The council thought that was a good idea – in fact it was also suggested that the city work with the South Lincoln County Trail Committee which is in the process of updating trails for hikers, horseback riders, aquatic travelers and bicyclists. A member of the committee was in the audience and said “let’s do it!”

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Waldport City Council to light up the town’s new signs…

Putting a little light on the subject. Courtesy photo

Putting a little light on the subject.
Courtesy photo

Clarification: North sign not quite yet in place. But it’s about ready.

The Waldport City Council Thursday finished their mission for ensuring a first good impression for folks visiting or just passing through Waldport – the nice new “Welcome to Waldport” signs that will soon sit at the north as well as the south end of the community. One is to sit at the north end of the Alsea Bay Bridge, the other is already in place at 101 and Ocean Hills Drive, across from Governor Patterson Memorial State Park.

The finishing touch will be providing night lighting for both signs. The council approved a contract to have both of them professionally illuminated for a grand total of $5,500.

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What’s with those red buoys in Alsea Bay?….

Alsea Bay  OSU Sediment Study

Alsea Bay
OSU Sediment Study

Monitoring sediment and organic materials in Alsea Bay estuary

From: Drs. Miguel Goni and Jim Lerczak, Oregon State University

(Here’s what those red buoys are all about, bobbing out there on Alsea Bay)

Like many of the small rivers along the Oregon Coastal Range, the Alsea is ‘flashy.’ When a Pacific Storm brings heavy rains to the coast, river stage and the flow of river currents can rise rapidly and often reaches flood stage in the winter. As river flow increases, high concentrations of sediments and organic materials can be brought from the forests of the coastal range to settle on the intertidal flats of the bay or be flushed out to the coastal ocean. These materials are important to the ecosystems of the bay and of the coastal ocean.

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This past winter Drs. Miguel Goni and Jim Lerczak of Oregon State University monitored sediment concentrations and sediment movement in Alsea Bay as part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation. They have been measuring sediment concentrations and currents in the bay to determine exactly how much sediment makes it down from the coastal mountains and determine how much sediment and organic materials settles on intertidal flats and how much bypasses the flats to be flushed directly to the coast. They have been making measurements by surveying from small boats. In addition, they have anchored current meters and sediment sensors at different locations of the bay. For example, you may have noticed red buoys near the Port of Alsea and upriver near Drift Creek. Both of these buoys have a sediment sensor attached to them.

The experiment started in December 2012 and will continue until May 2013. It will be repeated next winter (2013-2014). If you have any questions about the experiment, feel free to contact Jim Lerczak (jlerczak@coas.oregonstate.edu) or Miguel Goni (mgoni@coas.oregonstate.edu).

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Crestview Heights School Closed Next Week

Crestview Heights School Closed through April 5

Crestview Heights School
Closed through April 5

Crestview Heights School in Waldport will be closed for another week, allowing work crews enough time to remove mold, clean ducting, change air filters and perform other remediation.

It is anticipated that school will be back in session on Monday, April 8.

“We have a lot of work to do. It’s best that we take the time to do it right,” LCSD Support Services Director Rich Belloni said. “We understand this creates a hardship on families but this really is our best option at this point.” Families and staff will be notified about the school closure through the school district’s emergency phone messaging system.

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Mold was discovered inside the school during the recent interior demolition of a classroom. District officials took advantage of the school’s closure for spring break, March 22-29, to pull cabinetry away from walls in other classrooms to check for problems. Most windows have been leaking and mold was found in most classrooms, Belloni said.

The district hired PMG, Inc., a mold abatement firm based in Portland, to remove the mold. This entails removing sheetrock and scrubbing the area. A third-party inspector, PBS Engineering & Environmental of Eugene, has been hired to perform air testing, to inspect the areas, and give approval for an area to be reoccupied.

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Once approval is given, the school district will close up the interior wall, put cabinets back in place, and thoroughly clean carpets with HEPA vacuum cleaners. In rooms where windows have been removed, the wall will be formed for new windows then covered with plywood on the outside, insulation on the inside, and plastic covering the insulation.

“It will be tight so it won’t be drafty and cold,” Belloni said. “It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but we will be able to have school.”

District officials will determine how to make up the missed days of school at a later date.

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