$2.5 Million Flood Devastation Leads to Tillamook County Emergency

by | Dec 7, 2023 | News, Oregon Coast, Travel, Weather

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According to the latest at OPB, The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Wednesday due to flood damage. Several inches of rain battered the region, causing major damage to the county’s infrastructure, estimated at about $2.5 million, Tillamook County Emergency Manager Randy Thorpe said. The county is seeking assistance from the Oregon Department of Emergency Management to fund the extensive repairs.

The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office has told residents to limit travel as much as possible. County buildings and schools in Tillamook were closed Wednesday. Two roads — Miami Foley and Sandlake — collapsed during the flooding, and Highway 101 was temporarily closed due to high water levels. Miami Foley is a busy road in the county, and Thorpe said crews are constructing a temporary bridge that will allow residents to cross.

Southbound lane closure yesterday on Sandlake Road near the intersection of McPhillips Drive. (Tillamook County Roads / Facebook)

There is currently no estimate for when the bridge could be ready. Tillamook Fire District Chief Jeff McBrayer and his crew of mostly volunteer firefighters have performed 14 water rescues in the past 36 hours. Many people drove their cars into the water, only to become stuck when levels got too high.

RELATED: Major Flooding Closes HWY 101 South of Seaside, Oregon

“If you approach standing or moving water, please do not drive into it, it is much deeper than it looks,” McBrayer said. “Some of our rescues have been up to five, six feet of water.” Officials said the water in Tillamook has begun to recede, but they still urged caution for those driving through the area. Heavy rain has impacted other parts of Oregon as well. A Portland man drowned in Johnson Creek on Monday, and another possible drowning in Washington County is being investigated, pending an autopsy.

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Written By Tyler James

Tyler James, founder of That Oregon Life, is a true Oregon native whose love for his state runs deep. Since the inception of the blog in 2013, his unbridled passion for outdoor adventures and the natural beauty of Oregon has been the cornerstone of his work. As a father to two beautiful children, Tyler is always in pursuit of new experiences to enrich his family’s life. He curates content that not only reflects his adventures but also encourages others to set out and create precious memories in the majestic landscapes of Oregon. Tyler's vision and guidance are integral to his role as publisher and editor, shaping the blog into a source of inspiration for exploring the wonders of Oregon.

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