Coordinated Effort Aids Community During Winter Storm
By Division Chief Scott C. Kline
Starting Friday January 12, the National Weather Service warned of heavy snow in the Cascades with winds gusting to 50 mph, mixed with freezing rain and ice that could make travel “very difficult to impossible.” The residents and visitors to Mount Hood felt the full force of the powerful winter storm: high winds, snow and freezing rain, turning U.S. Highway 26 into a skating rink. Temperatures dropped to single digits in the Welches area and negative temperatures in Government Camp.
As the winds increased, trees fell into power lines, causing widespread power outages across the Hoodland area. Some residents had power restored in about 30 hours while others were out for days. In addition, the freezing temperatures caused frozen pipes to burst in businesses and homes. Several water systems went into boil alert notice as water levels were rapidly depleted.
As the storm was subsiding, residents and businesses started asking for assistance with food and water. Clackamas County Disaster Management and Hoodland Fire District responded by opening a Community Resource Center from January 19 through January 22 at the Mount Hood Lion’s Clubhouse. Drinking water, food boxes and a warm place to stay during the day were made available. Information on disaster assistance programs was distributed. Roughly estimating, 17 pallets of bottled water, 300-plus food boxes and cases of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) were picked up or delivered to members of our mountain community.
Hoodland Fire District is grateful for all the community members and businesses that stepped up to assist. Roughly fifty people donated over 390 hours, making the resource center a huge success.
We want to thank the Mount Hood Lion’s Club for giving us a place to staff the resource center, and also give a shout out to Hoodland Thriftway and Dollar General for donated supplies. People were also grateful to Hoodland 76 gas station for staying open to resupply citizens’ portable generators and cars.
Here is a list of individuals who signed in to staff the resource center. We know there were others that showed up to assist without leaving their names. Please forgive any misspellings or omissions and know that we are sincerely grateful to everyone who contributed to our community efforts.