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.  


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


More Articles

Adjusting to the New Economy

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

A conversation with Jonathan Bennett, managing partner at law firm Dunn Carney Allen Higgins & Tongue.


The God complex

Linda Baker
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
093015-zydellren-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

The media coverage about Pope Francis must have put me in a Biblical frame of mind. Because after touring the latest phase of the South Waterfront development, a mind boggling 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space that will spring up north of the aerial tram over the next few years, I couldn’t stop thinking about the massive project as a modern day creation story.


Storyteller in Chief: Brew Stories

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Over the years, many mentors have taught me lessons that have helped shape the way I view the world of work and our business.


Where Do We Go from Here?

Guest Blog
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
102115-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Volatility reigned supreme over the summer. The old Wall Street adage of, “Sell in May and go away,” was prophetic in 2015.


Photos: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon awards dinner

The Latest
Thursday, October 01, 2015
100best202thumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the big 2015 celebration of worker-friendly organizations that make a difference.


Rail revival

Linda Baker
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
111115-OregonShortLineRailCarTHUMBBY LINDA BAKER

“What we’ve seen traditionally over the past few decades is a reduction of short line railroads. This is a rare opportunity to see a line being opened.”


Run, Nick, Run

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Controversial track star Nick Symmonds is leveraging his celebrity to grow a performance chewing-gum brand. Fans hail his marketing ploys as genius. Critics dub them shameless.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02