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 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

Oregon Business expands events portfolio

The Latest
Friday, March 27, 2015
htctfacebookBY OB STAFF

New events series brings magazine to life.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


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