The major winter storm that pummeled Curry County this week, bringing flooding, downed trees, power outages and land slides was impressive.
More impressive was the quick response by the employees of city, county and state agencies.
As the rain poured down and winds reached speeds exceeding 50 mph in some places, personnel from various agencies spread out across the county to clear blocked culverts, remove road-blocking trees, and check on residents in low-lying areas.
Listening to the police scanner in the newsroom and with three reporters out covering the story, we had a front row seat as agencies launched into action. At one point, during the height of the storm, Curry County Road Department crews had a hard time keeping up with the reports of flooding and downed trees and powerlines.
As rivers reached flood stage, members of the Oregon State Police and Curry County Sheriff’s Department responded to land slides and high water threatening homes. Workers for the cities of Gold Beach, Brookings and Port Orford patrolled their communities, responding to any incidents and reporting potential emergencies. Crews with Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative were quick to locate and repair downed powerlines and poles, while the National Weather Service officials sent out regular weather updates that helped responders prioritize efforts.
The Pilot and KURY radio received regular updates from authorities about potential threats to life and property, which were relayed to readers and listeners hourly.
In the end, the storm subsided just in time to avert major catastrophe in several areas. However, if any of the worst-case scenarios had come true, we know that personnel with our local agencies were ready to respond to the best of their abilities.
The Pilot witnessed first-hand the hard work and dedication exhibited by so many, and for that, we say thank you.