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About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (July 8, 2015)
❘ JULY 8, 2015
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
RYAN CRONK , EDITOR
❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
EDITOR @ THESIUSLAWNEWS . COM
1 2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y F L A S H B A C K
T HE W EST
F LORENCE T IMES
T HE S IUSLAW O AR
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS
S IUSLAW N EWS
his year marks Siuslaw News’ quasquicentennial, our 125th anniversary, a remarkable achievement for any business in a small
community like Florence. To commemorate this milestone, throughout the year we’ll feature some of the town’s history as origi-
nally published in the newspaper, including historic articles and photos from more than a century ago. —Editor
Central coast reels from holiday storm
O RIGINALLY P UBLISHED J ULY 9, 1986
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS , V OL . 26, N O . 27
An unannounced storm packing a 100-mile-
per-hour punch toppled trees, knocked out
power and sank pleasure boats, but otherwise
failed to dampen the spirit of a festive Fourth
Arriving at about 4 a.m. the morning of the
holiday, the unusually strong summer storm
crashed into a coastal area primarily between
Newport and Coos Bay with a swatch from
Tahkenitch Lake to just south of Florence
receiving a major blow.
The storm was a result of a low pressure sys-
tem that had been forming in the Gulf of Alaska
for a few days prior to its arrival on the Oregon
coast, according to a National Weather Service
spokesman in Eugene.
The cold air mass was forecast for the Oregon
coast as temperature, cloud conditions and a
brief rain, said Daryl Jameson, weather service
specialist, but winds of more than 30 miles were
“It’s pretty hard to judge those things since
satellites can’t gauge surface wind velocity,”
He added that Eugene experienced winds of
up to 51 miles per hour (mph), compared to 15-
20 mph normally.
On the coast, winds were clocked at 68 mph
at the U.S. Coast Guard watch tower at the
Siuslaw River north jetty and in excess of 100
mph at Sea Lion Caves north of Florence.
A Coast Guard spokesman reported that seas
were unusually high at 18 feet with 15-foot
breakers on the bar. No unusual boating prob-
lems were attributed to the storm, however, said
Executive Petty Officer Charles Pilcher of the
Siuslaw River Lifeboat Station.
Campers at the Ada Resort on Siltcoos Lake
southeast of Florence have a different story to
tell about their holiday.
Excessively high wind and waves pummeled
the lakeside RV resort until 12 boats were sunk
and large sections of dock and pilings were torn
up and washed away.
“It seemed to me like 12-foot waves came up
and over some of the small trailers,” said resort
owner Joella Collins.
She and many of the occupants of the 55
trailers and campers watched docks being twist-
ed and trees bending over from the force of the
“It was like a little tornado with a little hurri-
cane,” said Collins, who estimated that winds
greater than 100 mph roared through her fish-
Of the 12 boats that were sunk, all were
fished out of the lake by Monday, said Collins.
The boats incurred various degrees of damage
from broken windows, crunched fiberglass and
Fourth of July campers at Oregon Dunes
National Recreation Area campgrounds experi-
enced similar horror during the storm.
Approximately 150 trees snapped in two or
were uprooted at the Tyre, Waxmyrtle and
Carter Lake campgrounds south of Florence,
according to Area Ranger Karl Denison.
Waxmyrtle was hit hardest, he said, and was
evacuated and closed following the storm.
About 250 to 300 people were evacuated
with the help of the Volunteer Dune Patrol and
the Eugene Sand Bugs, groups which also
helped clean up the roads and campgrounds
after the storm. The beach parking lot at
Siltcoos Campground was opened to accommo-
date evacuees, Denison said.
Several trailers, motor homes and vehicles
were damaged at the Dunes NRA campgrounds,
but only one injury was reported.
Officials at Western Lane Hospital, however,
said that no serious injuries were attributed to
“The folks were very understanding and
there were no major problems,” said Denison.
“We’re just thankful that no one was seriously
injured since there were lots of opportunities.”
He said that one particular tent was sur-
rounded by downed trees at Carter Lake, where
Denison estimated winds at about 100 mph for
the damage they did.
Cars were covered with wet sand and “they
looked like Mount St. Helens in ash,” Denison
said. He said that Dunes NRA crews were still
cleaning up downed trees and that a commercial
firewood sale would likely be held with the next
couple weeks to dispose of the downed trees. He
added that Waxmyrtle would probably remain
closed for about two weeks.
Central Lincoln People’s Utility District
(CLPUD) crews were kept busy repairing
downed power lines from the morning of the
storm until 9 p.m. on Saturday night, according
to Engineer Ron Ellson of the Florence office.
About 1,600 customers were without elec-
tricity after the storm, the majority of whom
live in Dunes City.
Ellson said some of his crews worked 22
hours the first day and 16 hours the next to get
power restored to customers.
Steve Saubert, general manager of Sea Lion
Caves, said that the facility’s wind gauge was
“pegged out at 100 mph” when employees
returned to work Friday morning.
He added that the sea lions had predicted the
storm, as two or three days before the storm a
group of about 30 of the mammals gathered in
“Usually they congregate at the lookout at
this time of year,” Saubert said. “Someone must
have whispered in their ears to warn them of
Re-think fireworks show
Are you kidding me? There were 10,000 to
15,000 visitors, both local and visiting from dis-
tant cities, down at the Port of Siuslaw board-
walk July 4, including my husband and I.
We were all there for several hours (five
hours for us) waiting for the fireworks to start.
When they finally did, they were not visible to
the great majority of visitors.
Who decided to move the fireworks location
from the middle of the river off the boardwalk
to the east side of the condos? I will never go
down there again to watch, and will never con-
tribute to the fireworks donations again.
Whoever decided to change the location
needs to re-think their strategy. Also, it would
have been ever so nice to have been given some
notice of where they were being set off this time
so more people could have seen them.
As a retired registered nurse, I have seen
many levels of care but none as compassionate,
kind and loving as the health care system of
PeaceHealth. I have not encountered staff like
those who work at the hospital, clinic and home
health and hospice.
The one thing our small hospital has that
large facilities don’t is the compassion and true
caring for their fellow human beings. The vol-
unteers are willing to take time out of their lives
to assist those in need. This is amazing to me.
I will be eternally grateful to all of these
They all deserve their wings.
On Friday and Saturday, June 26-27, the local
Veterans of Foreign Wars held a Yard Sale in
our local Elk’s Lodge parking lot to raise money
for the purchase of uniforms for our Honor
Guard, which performs services for deceased
military personnel’s funeral or memorial service
upon request, complete with Post Chaplain, rifle
salute and bugle taps.
I am very happy to say on behalf of our local
VFW Post 3232 that the people of Florence sup-
ported our efforts to meet our goal, and we are
now able to complete our desire to represent our
Post with complete uniforms to perform our
Our Post has been selected by the Oregon
State VFW Headquarters to be the Honor Guard
at the upcoming mid-term Statewide
Convention as well as the Annual Convention in
Our sincere thanks to all those who donated
items and supported our efforts.
Surgeon, VFW Post 3232
USPS# 497-660 Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
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General Manager, ext. 318
Editor, ext. 313
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Office Supervisor, ext. 312
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Published every Wednesday and Saturday at 148 Maple St. in Florence, Lane County, Oregon. A member of the National
Newspaper Association and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Periodicals postage paid at Florence, Ore.
Postmaster, send address changes to: Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439; phone 541-997-3441; fax
541-997-7979. All press releases may be sent to PressReleases@TheSiuslawNews.com.
Pres. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
TTY/TDD Comments: 202-456-6213
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line 503-378-4582
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
State Rep. Caddy McKeown
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (4th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
State Sen. Arnie Roblan (Dist. 5)
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
West Lane County Commissioner
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401