Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
March 28, 2012     The New Era Paper
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March 28, 2012

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Page 8 Vctm ('_C'MMI flllTV 'ITTe Er,, - March 28, 2012 m Snow From page 1 roof on 4th Avenue and a number of vehicles were hit by falling trees and limbs. One girl was injured during the storm. Sweet Home Fire and Ambu- lance District started responding to calls at 5:05 a.m. with a wire down across Highway 20 just east of Circle K, 2405 Main St., Fire Chief Mike Beaver said. From that point, the de- partment was swamped. From 5:05 a.m. on March 21 to 5:14 a.m. on March 22, the department responded to 33 calls, including 10 medical and 23 involving wires and fires. Fires were reported where branches fell onto lines, Beaver said. Removing the branches from the lines put the fires out. One girl was hit by a falling branch, Beaver said. She was trans- ported to Samaritan Lebanon Com- munity Hospital, which transferred her to Doernbecher Children's Hos- pital in Portland. Due to privacy laws, her name was not released. He did not know her condition as of Monday. The storm also knocked out power to Sweet Home. "At one time, it was as many as 7,000 in the greater area, Sweet Home to Lebanon," said Tom Gauntt, Pacific Power spokesman. Some 485 customers remained without power in Sweet Home at 4 p.m. on Friday. He anticipated most of that power being restored by midnight, although homes that needed the "mast" or "weather head" replaced would still be out, possibly as well as Photo by Scott Swanson Josh Whitmore cuts branches off a downed tree in a yard near the corner of Mountain View and Elm streets Wednesday after snow brought the tree down on ca couple of vehicles, including the one at right, behind resident Jim Whitmore. homes near the end of the lines. The weather head is the point where the electricity connects to homes, and it is the customer's responsibility. "It was the trees over-burdened with snow," Gauntt said. Officials said the ground was already saturated by rain, causing trees to fall. in addition, the heavy snow not only broke branches but Photo by Scan C. Morgan A snow lion sculpted by Leslie Bone gazes at the white world around him Wednesday afternoon at the corner of Long and 23rd. weighed down some of the lines di- rectly. The North Santiam Canyon had similar problems, but they weren't as widespread, Gauntt said. "It was coming on the heels of last week, when we had a similar thing in Coos County," Gauntt said. As many as 12,000 were out across the Willamette "Valley. Fortunately, unlike Coos County, the area-is far more accessible, and crews, includ- ing 115 workers, were able to get in and restore power more easily. About 11:30 a.m. on March 21, power was restored east of 18th Av- enue. Downtown had power about 2:30 p.m., although the west end of Main didn't have power until anoth- er major restoration around 8 p.m. "Basically, a cold front came through," said Meteorological Tech- nician Gerald Mackey of the Na- tional Weather Service. "It kind of stalled there and rained for a long time, and it turned to snow." The front didn't move much, dumping 7.5 inches on Eugene, he said. It was followed by a second front, which dropped another 7.5 inches on Eugene. There and Sweet Home, much of the snow melted during the day when the snow turned to rain, but the next snow storm cov- ered the ground the second night. The snowfall was less intense north of Eugene, Mackey said. Battleground, Wash., had about 2.5 inches. The heaviest snow was be- tween Eugene and Salem. Such weather isn't all that un- usual in western Oregon - especially during a La Nifia winter, according to Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Service at Or- egon State University. "This is the La Nifia winter weather we've been waiting for," Dello said. "It's pretty typical - an active storm track, wet and cool. It's a bit later than we've expected, but See Snow, page 9 Photo by Miriam Swanson A ruler shows snow depth at 7 inches on 4th Avenue. Kaitlyn Gaskey, 11, enjoys a sled Junior High hill Wednesday morning. Photo by Scott Swanson ride down the Sweet Home