County declares weather emergency


Officials urge people to be prepared, check on neighbors

Feb. 27, 2019 — While the Willamette Valley reels under the weight of snow, much of the Florence area has suffered no more than cold temperatures and overnight ice. Downed trees and powerlines on Highways 126, 101 and 36 created some issues on Monday, and outlying areas continue to feel the impact of no power, heavy snow and ice delays.

West Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich urged residents to stay safe.

“This is just a test for the Cascadia Subduction Zone event,” he said on his Facebook page.

On Feb. 26, the County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an emergency declaration allowing Lane County and its local partners to request additional state support from Oregon Emergency Management and other partners, if needed.

Lane County Road Maintenance crews are continuing to conduct 24-hour operations focused on clearing snow, downed trees and other debris from County roads. Two of the main focus areas are establishing access to the McKenzie area and working with state, private and local public partners to establish access to Oakridge.

Crews in other regions of Lane County, including Cottage Grove and other rural areas, are continuing to focus on providing passable lanes on the County’s Priority 1 roads and then to secondary routes.

“As we work to re-establish access, neighbors should check on one another and, when possible, assist elderly neighbors and those with small children,” said County Public Information Officer Devon Ashbridge. “Checking in on neighbors and becoming aware of whether someone in your neighborhood may need assistance is important during emergency events like these.”

Several service offices in the county were closed districtwide Monday and opened Tuesday after a delay. Mapleton School District was one of those.

In addition, Siuslaw Watershed Council decided to postpone the “Managing Non-Native Species” event planned for Feb. 27. More details are available through

Officials continue to urge motorists to drive with caution as wet roads have turned icy after sub-freezing temperatures overnight. Leave extra travel time, slow down and leave extra travel distance between vehicles. Bridges, ramps and known shady areas will be more prone to ice up.

ODOT crews have been busy plowing, deicing and sanding on most state highways in the Willamette Valley, Coast Range and Cascades. Salt is being used in certain locations. However, despite those efforts there will be winter driving conditions and motorists need to adjust their driving to the highway conditions.

Drive carefully and check for road conditions before you go. In addition, Lane County Public Works maintains an interactive county storm tracker online at