Local News That Matters

UPDATES: Marion County residents recovering from 2020 wildfires get $1.3 million boost

18 days ago

Flood watch for Salem, much of northwest Oregon, begins Thursday night

Heavy rains may bring floods to the Mid-Willamette Valley and much of western Oregon beginning Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service's Portland office said.

The agency has issued a flood watch in effect through Friday night and warned streams and rivers in the region may flood and debris flows are possible in burn areas in the Santiam Canyon.

"Landslides near steep terrain cannot be ruled out either," the alert said.

The heaviest rains are expected to begin Thursday afternoon.

Total rain accumulation in the north Oregon Cascades and Coast Range may exceed 6 to 12 inches from Wednesday to Friday, the agency said. One to 3 inches is "possible for the interior lowlands."

The agency said the areas most likely to flood are along the Wilson River and Trask River near Tillamook and the Nehalem River near Foss.

“Creeks and smaller rivers in the Willamette and coastal tributaries may also be impacted,” the flood watch said.

The City of Salem is encouraging people to monitor local river conditions on the Mid-Willamette Valley High Water Watch website, which has data from rain and stream gauges around the city.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the city has two sandbagging sites open where people can get sand: the West Salem Park & Ride in the 1400 block of Brush College Road Northwest, off Wallace Road Northwest; and the city's public works shop near the intersection of Southeast Oxford Road and Southeast 22nd Avenue. More information about sandbagging and a map of open sites is available on the city website.

-Rachel Alexander

18 days ago

New map shows Salem street sweeper schedule

Visitors to Salem’s Riverfront Park Saturday evening were rewarded with a double splash of color from the sunset and from the autumn colors on the ground. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Salem residents can now check a map to find out the next time the street sweeper will pass through their block.

People can track its expected arrival by entering their street address on the city of Salem's Find Your Street Sweeper Schedule.

According to the city's website, the map identifies routes with color coding: Orange means it will be swept today, blue is being swept tomorrow, violet is paused, green is being visited by the leaf crew today, pink is being visited by the leaf crew tomorrow and white is not scheduled for today or tomorrow.

People can also see when their neighborhood was last swept as well as any disruptions to their regular schedule.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

18 days ago

Detroit, Idanha get wildfire relief grants to help build fire station, water storage

Detroit's water storage. (Courtesy/ Oregon Community Foundation)

The Santiam Canyon and mid-Willamette Valley nonprofits are getting $1.3 million boost to help rebuild a water reservoir, help house those displaced by last September’s wildfires and assist farmworkers during wildfire season.

The money is thanks to the Community Rebuilding Fund, a joint effort led by Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross.

On Wednesday, funders announced an additional $2.3 million will help support 27 more nonprofit organizations working to rebuild Oregon communities rebuild from the devastation of the 2020 fires.

Detroit will get an additional $150,000 to rebuild its municipal water storage reservoir which was destroyed by the Lionshead Fire last September.

The city is currently operating with 30% of the water storage capacity it had prior to the fire.

“Water is a basic, essential need that we must provide for with humans, wildlife and vegetation in our region” said Michele Tesdal, a Detroit city councilor, in a statement. “This project is vitally important and will increase protection, resilience and safety for all that call Santiam Canyon home.”

Cascade Relief Team will get $75,000 to support a long-term disaster preparedness plan.

Catholic Community Services of the Mid-Willamette Valley & Central Coast will get a $157,574 grant to hire two community health workers to facilitate service navigation, ensure equitable access to healthcare and assist in housing stabilization for residents of Linn and Marion counties impacted by wildfires.

The Detroit Lake Foundation will get $40,000 to support the Detroit Lake Community Center.

Habitat for Humanity-Mid-Willamette Valley will get $85,000 to hire additional construction staff to partner with low-income homeowners in the Santiam Canyon to make repairs to their homes.

Idanha Detroit Rural Fire Protection District will be able to construct a fire station with $112,500 from the fund.

Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency will use $90,000 to fund a variety of services for residents experiencing homelessness or who are unstably housed as a result of wildfires in Marion County. That can include rent and utility assistance, homelessness prevention and resource navigation.

Accion Politica PCUNista's will hire and train organizers familiar with rules and safety regulations, particularly in regards to wildfires, excessive smoke and heat, to help Latino farmworkers in Marion County with $250,000. 

-Saphara Harrell