Everyone knows that they’re supposed to laugh at the line, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber was here last Saturday to say just that.
And we can tell you that his declaration of an emergency on Tuesday set loose its own flood of government bureaucrats who were – indeed – intent on helping the community bounce back from disaster.
We may not know every action by every agency, but we can tell readers about the actions we witnessed this week.
Oregon Emergency Management was on hand with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help survey and assess the damage to port facilities. It is also guiding the Curry County Assessor’s Office in compiling the damage to private property and the cost to local governments in responding to the emergency.
Oregon State Police were patrolling beach access points all day Friday to keep people out of harm’s way. Oregon State Parks organized the removal of two boats that were swept out to sea and then dashed onto the coast.
The Oregon Marine Board is working with the port to identify its equipment needs and survey the water depth in both the sport and commercial boat basins
Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism agency, moved to open up the official Oregon Welcome Center two weeks early, to help serve visitors attracted to the area by the tsunami, and it pledged to help spread the word that the community is still open to visitors during the upcoming vacation season.
Oregon Solutions – which helps government, business, private groups and individuals solve community problems – is sending an officer to meet with area residents next week.
In all, it’s been an impressive show of support from state government for a very unusual situation, and the community should be grateful for the assistance.