Brown's state of emergency includes Jackson County
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency Thursday in 10 counties, including Jackson and Josephine, that were walloped by a wild winter storm that closed roads, knocked out power and damaged property.
The emergency declaration also affects the counties of Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Klamath, Lane, Linn and Marion.
The snowstorm that hit the region at the end of February wreaked havoc in Southern Oregon, closing Interstate 5 north of Roseburg Monday night. Portions of Oregon Highway 138 and much of Highway 58 were closed. U.S. Highway 101 remains closed 15 miles north of Brookings.
Oregon Highway 38 remains closed between Elkton and Drain, but a section from Reedsport to Elkton opened late Wednesday.
Power outages were widespread in Eugene and communities to the south.
Brown’s declaration allows the state Office of Emergency Management to coordinate efforts by the Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Police and Oregon National Guard to aid in the recovery effort.
“We’re able to get reimbursed on some of the storm damage,” said Gary Leaming, spokesman for ODOT.
He said his department would receive money for storm-related damage such as tree removal, slide repair and fixing buckled roadways.
Leaming said his department would not receive money for routine maintenance to roads, including snow removal operations.
“We’ve been running the snow blowers nonstop in February,” he said.
Most of the damage that would be eligible for federal reimbursement occurred in Douglas, Coos and Curry counties, Leaming said.
“We continue to clear highways, particularly up in Douglas County,” Leaming said.
But the local ODOT district, which covers Jackson and Josephine counties, appears to not have any problems beyond routine maintenance of local roads, he said.
“We have nothing that is covered by it,” Leaming said. “Our district manager is not planning on submitting requests based on the emergency declaration.”
With the declaration, ODOT can access the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program to repair roads.
The state of emergency remains in effect for 30 days, unless terminated sooner by Brown.
The Office of Emergency Management will continue to provide regular updates, which will be made available at https://twitter.com/oregonoem.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on www.twitter.com.reporterdm.