Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

How Oregon will survive the loss of Hanjin

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT | OB CONTRIBUTOR

"Shipping containers to Portland is like waiting for a bus that travels once a day."


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

Power Players

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.


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...

How a Utah-based essential oils company cornered the Oregon market

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Multilevel marketing, health claims and zyto scanner biofeedback machines: How dōTERRA thrives in Oregon. 


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


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