Local News That Matters

Portion of Interstate 5 from Brooks to Canby closing Thursday night

February 18, 2021 at 4:09pm

Salem firefighters rescue Scotts Mills woman who fell 50 feet down well

The Salem Fire Department's rope rescue team hoisted an elderly woman out of a well after she fell more than 50 feet on Feb. 18. (Courtesy/ Silverton Fire Department)

An elderly Scotts Mills woman is in serious condition after falling more than 50 feet into an old well Thursday, the Silverton Fire Department said.

Firefighters arrived to a Scotts Mills home in the 3000 block of Crooked Finger Road as a neighbor used a rope and pulley to go down into the stone-lined well and keep the woman upright.

Ed Grambusch, Silverton’s assistant chief, said the woman had been in the well for 45 minutes when firefighters arrived.

“It’s amazing that she lived,” he said.

The Salem Fire Department’s rope rescue team was called in. They lowered a rescuer into the well, stabilized the woman and hoisted her to the top of the well opening.

Firefighters found the woman conscious, injured and “very hypothermic” as she was laying on a small outcropping partially submerged in water, according to a news release. The woman was taken to Salem Hospital.

The neighbor who used a rope to go down into the well was also hoisted out by firefighters, the department said.

-Saphara Harrell

February 18, 2021 at 1:58pm

Salem-Keizer cancels school Friday, Feb. 19

Local students will round out a week of no school Friday as the Salem-Keizer School District has again canceled classes and activities.

There will be no online or in-person school on Feb. 19 as thousands of families remain without power in the Salem area.

District spokeswoman Sylvia McDaniel said district leaders have not yet decided if or when missed school days will be made up.

Brown bag meals will still be available to pick up at local schools, though several regular sites are not distributing food because of power outages. A full list of locations and times is available on the district website.

-Rachel Alexander

February 18, 2021 at 12:22pm

Salem resident builds website to track pace of PGE power restoration

A screenshot of Zachary Yamada's power restoration tracker for the outages following the February 2021 ice storm.

A Salem cybersecurity consultant has set up a website for Oregonians to track the pace of Portland General Electric's power restoration efforts following ice storms that left more than 300,000 houses and businesses without power this week.

Zachary Yamada built the site this week, hosting it through his company, Blue Citrus. The site uses PGE's outage data to report the percentage of customers in each affected county who had power restored since outages peaked earlier this week.

Yamada said he's been without power at his south Salem home since last Friday night and wanted to create something to give more context for Oregonians who are eagerly awaiting their lights coming back on. He's been charging his devices at the office, he said.

"While PGE has been doing an outstanding job of reporting the current number of outages at pretty much any given time, there isn’t much historical data and so it felt kind of hard to conceptualize the progress being made. I thought that recording and charting the progress over time would not only add some context to the situation in Oregon but also give folks solstice in being able to see that steady progress is being made in most of the affected areas," Yamada said in an email.

-Rachel Alexander

February 18, 2021 at 11:09am

Interstate 5 from Brooks to Canby closing Thursday night for PGE repairs

Interstate 5 will be closed for four hours on Feb. 18 starting at 11 p.m. for PGE to perform repairs. (Courtesy/ODOT)

All lanes of Interstate 5 from Brooks to Canby will be closed from 11 p.m. Thursday to 3 a.m. Friday so Portland General Electric can make repairs, the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday morning.

Interstate 5 will be closed from exit 263 near Brooks to exit 282 for Highway 551 for four hours, ODOT said. Drivers are advised to use Highway 99E as an alternate route.

-Saphara Harrell