Storm blows through economy

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, January 01, 2008

storm.gif STATEWIDE Clean up is well under way after storms wreaked havoc on Oregon’s northwest coast early last month, but businesses will likely feel the effects for quite some time.

Overall, Clatsop, Tillamook and Columbia counties, which took the brunt of the storms, have reported more than $144 million in damages.

Preliminary estimates from the Oregon Department of Transportation put damage to the state’s highway system at around $10 million. Though ODOT was able to quickly reopen many roads from the coast inland, a 20-mile section of I-5 — the West Coast’s main artery  — remained closed for three days.  A slide that closed Highway 30 for several days did not have a big impact.

Washington State secretary of transportation Paula Hammond estimated that the closure of I-5 resulted in $4 million per day in additional shipping costs. Some, like Bob Russell, president of the Oregon Trucking Associations, believe the toll was even higher.

“Ten thousand trucks per day travel along that corridor,” he says. “That’s a lot of cargo.”

Tillamook Bay Railroad, a conveyor belt for timber heading from the coast to the Willamette Valley, also took a major hit. The $20 million in damages to tracks will force an already ailing timber industry, which saw 7,000 acres of trees on private forestland mowed down by the storm in Clatsop County alone, to ship product by truck at additional cost until repairs are made, says Ray Wilkeson, legislative director for the Oregon Forest Industries Council.

Other businesses in Tillamook County avoided floodwaters thanks to Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars that allowed them to elevate after the 1996 floods, says Sheriff Todd Anderson.

Still, many shops throughout the affected areas were forced to close when power lines went down. At the peak of the storm, as many as 66,000 customers were in the dark, says Jan Mitchell, a spokesperson for Pacific Power.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared an “abnormal disruption of the marketplace,” as allowed under the state’s new price-gouging law, in areas affected by the storm.

The declaration prevents merchants from increasing prices of essential goods and services — including food, water, petroleum and repair materials and services — by 15% or more during a crisis.  

JAMIE HARTFORD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

The Carbon Calculus

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Carbon pricing is gaining momentum in Oregon, sparking concern for energy-intensive businesses — but also opportunity to expand a homespun green economy.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...

Taking the lead in boosting Oregonians’ health and strengthening our economy

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 08, 2015
0108-injection-thumbBY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED

Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy. 


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS