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News Release
Critical Damage Assessment Information Needed; AlertSense Public Notification Planned - 02/11/20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  

February 11, 2020

NOTE TO MEDIA:

  • Information about reporting damage to homes and businesses is urgent and critical. Reports should be filed with Umatilla County by noon Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
  • A public alert on the reporting process will be sent this afternoon or evening. Details below.

Critical Damage Assessment Information Needed

Umatilla County needs critical information from residents and businesses impacted by the flood regarding three elements of losses. These reports will be used by the county to document the financial impacts and resources needs of our communities. Some people affected by the flood may need to fill out multiple forms depending on the nature of their losses.

These reports include:

  1. Damage to structures and property from homeowners, renters and businesses.
  2. Business economic losses.
  3. Agriculture losses.

To find the forms and instructions for reporting damages, go to the Umatilla County website, scroll down to the flood link for access to all the documents: co.umatilla.or.us

IMPORTANT NOTE:

AlertSense: Umatilla County will distribute an AlertSense public notification by text and email asking residents and business owners to complete online damage assessment forms. The message will be sent to those registered to receive the notifications in the areas affected by the flood.

Businesses and individuals who need assistance completing or submitting reports may reach out to the following locations during business hours:

  • Pendleton City Hall
  • Milton-Freewater Public Library
  • Umatilla Public Library,
  • Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office
  • Echo City Hall
  • Weston City Hall

or call the Umatilla County Flood Information Line: 541-966-3671. (Staffing limited.)

Cash Donations: Cash donations are being accepted by three local community organizations

  • Umatilla County/Pendleton region: Community Action Plan of East Central Oregon (CAPECO). Donate through the website. 800-752-1139
  • Milton-Freewater: Blue Mountain Community Foundation: Donate through the website. 509-529-4371
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: Send a check to: CTUIR (Attn: Accounts Receivable), 46411 Timine Way, Pendleton, OR 97801 (New today, Tuesday, Feb. 11.)

Tuesday, Feb. 11:

  • Umatilla County crews are assessing flooding debris and will determine the best process for the clean-up, including allocation of dumpsters.
  • The Oregon Department of Land and Conservation are training staff from the Umatilla County Planning Department and local cities in damage assessment. Water can create severe structural damage. This step is required for compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • County crews will inspect dams and levees in Pendleton and Milton-Freewater for damage.
  • Umatilla County will begin inspecting the heavy damage to Mill Creek Road. 
  • ODOT bridge crews will assist with bridge inspections.

Ongoing

  • Crews will continue recovery efforts throughout the area, including damage assessment, planning and repairs. 
  • Search and Rescue operations are on standby.
  • Short-term sheltering and associated needs for evacuated or displaced residents.

County Roads

  • Sections of Walla Walla River Road, Mill Creek Road and Bingham Road remain closed to vehicle traffic. Use TripCheck.com for the latest updates on county road and state highway closures.
  • OR Highway 204, the Tollgate Highway, remains closed between milepost 26.7 (Andes Prairie) and milepost 37.4 (Summerville Road).

Background

  • On Thursday Feb. 6, heavy rain and snow melt caused by warm temperatures brought flooding to many areas of Umatilla County.
  • A helicopter tour Monday Feb. 10 revealed multiple bridges out, road sections gone and homes isolated. 
  • During the flooding, the Oregon Army National Guard used helicopters to rescue 54 people, 10 dogs, one cat and one rabbit stranded by the flood. 
  • One woman was killed when high water swept through her property near the Bar M Ranch, the only reported fatality in the flooding.
  • High water and road damage closed Interstate 84 in both directions Friday Feb. 7 between Exits 182 and 188. One lane in each direction opened late Sunday night, Feb. 9. 

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