When Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake hits the coast, what will it mean to Bend?

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Oct 312014
When the "big one" hits the coast:  Coast 9, Valley 7, Bend 5 on Richter

When the “big one” hits the coast: Coast 9, Valley 7, Bend 5 on Richter

A presentation was given this week at Bend’s Tower Theater where geologists, emergency preparedness officials and the Red Cross convened to talk with a packed audience about the eminent earthquake the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast will create – WHEN it happens. One panelist characterized the situation as an earthquake that is 9 months pregnant.

When the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake hits the Oregon Coast it will trigger a catastrophic earthquake (9+ Richter) inland for about twenty miles, a strong earthquake (7+ Richter) throughout the Willamette Valley and a moderate earthquake (5 Richter) in the Bend region.

There will be total devastation on the coast – bridges gone, roads impassable, older buildings flattened, even new ones horribly damaged including hospitals, police and fire stations, homes and businesses. Add a huge tsunami on top of that and you’ll have to add many, many deaths.

In the Willamette Valley, the quake will cause severe to moderate damage. Ground liquifaction will be widespread, causing cinderblock construction to fall flat. Wood frame structures will be moderately damaged and least damaged will be steel fabricated buildings.

Here in Bend, there will be minor to moderate damage. But a 5 Richter can still cause some nasty problems like fires from natural gas breaks and damage to buildings erected prior to 1980. And there is a lot of them.

As far as recovery goes, the coast will take literally years to rebuild itself. Electricity will take three weeks to six months to restore. Police and fire stations, two months to three years. Hospitals 18 months to 3 years. Water and sewer systems 1-3 years. And their coast line is likely to fall up to 9 feet. Areas of Newport, Waldport, Seaside and others will be permanently lost to the ocean.

In the Willamette Valley, Electricity will take one to three months to restore, police and fire facilities two to four months, top highways up to a year, hospitals up to a year and a half and water and sewer facilities a month to a full year..

Here in the Bend area, it’ll take six months to a year to restore major highways to 60% capacity. Some bridges may have been weakened and will need re-inforcing. Major highways should be back to 90% capacity in a year to three years. Electricity should be back up within three days to three weeks. Sewer and water should be restored within 24 hours. The Redmond Airport should be back to 60% capacity in one to three days, to 90% within a year to three years.

As for Highway 97, it will become THE primary north-south highway in Oregon. I-5 will be a mess. Only short stretches are expected to be driveable. The airport at Redmond will become THE Oregon airport since Portland PDX will be in shambles. That will make the Redmond Airport as a major airlift command area for rescue and air transport to points west.

Presenters told the Tower Theater audience that Bend will be a very busy place and that many refugees from the coast and the valley may wind up here. Handling that service load will be quite difficult but the effort will have to be made.

They said Oregon will be embarking on a multi-billion dollar road, port, airport, bridge and major building re-enforcement campaign along the coast and in the valley over the next ten years and beyond. Where all that funding will come from isn’t known but we’re told “they’re working on it.”

Since there will be devastation along the coast, and major damage to the Portland area, tens of thousands trauma patients from the hardest hit areas will be transferred to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and to trauma centers around the Pacific Northwest, if not into California, Nevada and Idaho.

Goods and services will arrive in Bend and work their way into the valley and along the coast. The National Guard and U.S. Military are expected to devote considerable resources to the disaster – certainly in the reconstruction of vital roads, highways, bridges and medical facilities. And FEMA will be orchestrating much of it, strategically based at the Redmond Airport.

Bend area residents must overcome the challenge of losing power for a few days, fuel shortages, delayed deliveries of groceries to local stores and prescription drugs to pharmacies. The officials suggested that you have have a gallon of water a day for each person in your family. And you might stock up with some of your neighbors in mind if they haven’t done so for themselves.

Officials say there are three critical elements required to successfully cope with the earthquake here in Bend. Be informed. Make a plan. Build a survival kit. Ingredients in a survival kit will vary by household but there are basic elements. The kits should last a family for at least two weeks. The Red Cross has information on all of that by checking their website by clicking here.

OR 140 Closed mileport 14

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Oct 312014

From ODOT:
OR140(E) open to one lane of traffic controlled by flaggers at milepost 14 following crash.

Bend mother stabbed by son – son commits suicide

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Oct 312014
Bend Police

Bend Police

Bend Police are investigating the stabbing of a Bend woman by her son, who later committed suicide.

Police say it all started Wednesday night when Seth Roberts, 23, called 9-1-1 to say that a woman at 20316 Donkey Sled Road was unconscious and not breathing.

Arriving paramedics found Roberts’ mother lying on the front yard with a serious knife wound that was bleeding from her chest.

Police contacted Seth Roberts, the victim’s son who was standing outside the home. Police say Roberts became uncooperative, turned, and fled back inside the house. Moments later police heard a single gunshot coming from inside the home.

Bend Fire Rescue personnel managed to quickly evacuate Roberts’ mother and transport her to St. Charles Medical Center.

Meanwhile, Central Oregon Emergency Response Team members amassed outside the house. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact Roberts, the CERT team entered the home. Inside, they found Roberts dead on the floor from what police say appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Roberts’ mother, Susan Stafford, 60, remains under treatment at St. Charles Medical Center.

Rep. Greg Walden getting heat from his own party…

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Oct 312014
Rep. Greg Walden R-Eastern Oregon

Rep. Greg Walden
R-Eastern Oregon
Oregonian photo

Sometimes when those who win, or in this case believe they’re going to win, they turn away from the other side they’re fighting to start throwing punches at their own team.

Such might be the case with Oregon Representative Greg Walden who is being criticized by some of his fellow Republican members of the House.

The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

As you reset your clocks this weekend – Replace your smoke alarm batteries!!

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Oct 302014
Check the battery this weekend!

Check the battery this weekend!

From the Oregon State Fire Marshall

Sunday, November 2nd marks the end of Daylight Saving Time and serves as a good reminder for Oregonians to test their smoke alarms. The Office of State Fire Marshal is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before automatically changing the batteries.

“Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery.”

Oregon law requires ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery. Because of this technology, the national slogan “Change your clock, Change your battery” may not apply to Oregon residents who have these ionization-only smoke alarms.

Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery.

“Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire,” adds Walker. “Also, be sure to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older.”

To test your alarm properly we recommend you:
1) Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.
2) When replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct battery to use.
3) Always retest alarms after installing new batteries
4) Replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery.
5) Inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or older. Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.
6) Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.

Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape, which increase your chances of survival. Additional safety tips:
* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
* Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
* Use the smoke alarm’s hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.
* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with family members.

For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire department or visit

Those ballots are already pouring in across Oregon…

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Oct 292014
Ballots are coming in strong and steady... Oregonian photo

Ballots are coming in strong and steady…
Oregonian photo

Interest in the current off-year general election is running at about the same as it was in 2010, even though races for Governor and U.S. Senator have turned into shoe-ins for the two incumbents. But there are a number of other issues that are also prompting more Oregonians to vote.

Here’s the story in the Oregonian. Click here.

Sloppy driving is always a dead giveaway for sharp-eyed OSP Troopers

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Oct 272014

osp patch

A Bend man was arrested Monday morning on drug charges during a traffic stop north of Terrebonne.

An OSP trooper stopped a Volkswagen Jetta on Highway 97 near SW Norris Lane north of Terrebonne for failure to drive within a single a lane. During the traffic stop the trooper identified the driver as THOMAS VAN HOOSE, age 39, from Bend, and learned he was driving on a suspended license and was wanted on a warrant for failing to obey conditions of his parole on an earlier conviction.

VAN HOOSE was arrested for misdemeanor Driving While Suspended and on the warrant. A drug detection canine from Warm Springs Police Department responded to the scene. A search found approximately 3/4 of an ounce of crystal methamphetamine on VAN HOOSE which was concealed inside the vehicle.

VAN HOOSE was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail for the felony warrant, misdemeanor Driving While Suspended, and Unlawful Possession, Delivery and Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine.