The Curry County Courthouse in Gold Beach was evacuated Monday after a man called the clerk’s office at 2:27 p.m. and said there were multiple bombs in and around the building that would be detonated within 20 minutes.
It was one of several bomb threats reported throughout Oregon.
“I was scared,” said Shelley Denney of the elections office, who received the call. “He said, ‘This is not a threat; this is serious. There are multiple bombs in the courthouse and they’re set to go off in 20 minutes. Again this is not a threat. This is serious.’ Click. I called 911.”
Law enforcement from the Sheriff’s Office and Gold Beach Police Department swept the building multiple times and found no bombs.
Gold Beach Police Chief Dixon Andrews said similar threats were made to courthouses in Baker, Benton, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill counties.
One was even made to the public service building that houses the Oregon State Police general headquarters in Salem.
Evacuations were held in 22 of the 28 affected courthouses, and all threats were unfounded.
Eight similar threats were received Nov. 15 in Washington state and nine in Nebraska on Nov. 2. All those were unfounded, as well.
Andrews said he didn’t know of any reason for the multiple calls, but noted they all came in on business lines, rather than 911 emergency lines that are recorded.
“There may be more rolling in,” he said. “It’s a statewide event.”
Anyone with information regarding the bomb threats that were phoned in Nov. 19 between 2:30 and 4 p.m. is asked to contact their local sheriff’s department.