Willamette Valley News, Thursday 1/5 – Eugene One Of The Most Moved To Cities as Study Shows Oregon No. 2 State For People Moving To In 2022, Lane Transit District Reducing Services Starting In February

The latest news stories and stories of interest in the Willamette Valley from the digital home of Southern Oregon, from Wynne Broadcasting’s WillametteValleyMagazine.com

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Willamette Valley Weather

Eugene One Of The Most Moved To Cities as Study Shows Oregon No. 2 State For People Moving To In 2022

According to an annual study by United Van Lines, Oregon was the second most popular state to move to in 2022.

Michael Stoll, an economist at UCLA, has spent the last decade working closely with the company to break down the data. United Van Lines shared its 46th Annual National Movers Study

“The study is accounting of the number of shipments they do per state either in or out, and then with those total shipments they take the fraction that are inbound state and calculates the fraction that are outbound, and based on those percentages they determine whether or not the state is a high move in state or move out state,” Stoll said.

According to the data, 67% of people moving into or out of Oregon were moving in. Of those surveyed, almost 14% moved for retirement, nearly 17% to be closer to family, and 15% relocated for lifestyle reasons. But the kicker, Stoll said, was that 51% of people moved for work.

According to the data, more Millennials and Gen-Zs are moving in.

“Right around 50% of those moving in are between the ages of 18 to 34. They are college educated and high earners, over half earning over $100,000,” Stoll said.

Stoll said this comes as a bit of a surprise as, in years past, most people who moved to Oregon do so for retirement.

“Oregon, for the last decade, had been at the top for inbound states. Last year was number eight and in the past, somewhere between nine and five. So, it’s always been in the top, and the reasons for that have been fairly consistent and mainly driven by those at or near retirement age who are moving from neighboring states like California,” Stoll said.

Stoll said in the last year, people are moving to smaller cities like Eugene.

“A lot of folks moving to Oregon are moving to Eugene. What we find is that a lot of people who are making interstate migration decisions are leaving large dense cities and moving to smaller towns and mid-size cities. Eugene is a perfect example, where you have enough amenities and cultural attractions to attract the Gen-Z and Millennials who are looking for many different things in their lifestyle,” Stoll said.

He said this has been an interesting turn because, for the last 30 years, most of the migration is towards bigger cities in the southern and western states. “This trend that we are seeing positively impacts Oregon’s local economy,” Stoll said. MORE INFO: https://www.unitedvanlines.com/newsroom/movers-study-2022?referrer=usem7&utm_source=prnewswire.com&utm_medium=press&utm_campaign=National-Movers-Study&utm_content=2022-movers-study

Lane Transit District Reducing Services Starting In February

Lane Transit District announced 12 of the district’s bus routes will be making fewer trips starting in February due to staffing issues and changing passenger demand.

LTD said that in addition to its 12 fixed bus routes that will be seeing reduced service, adjustments will also be made to the weekday EmX bus service.

These changes include adding afternoon trips between the Eugene Station and Springfield Station. Although many trips were removed, LTD says Route 17’s weekday routine will see additional trips at 7:21 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and Hayden Bridge to help students get to school.

The change in service is planned to begin on February 5. The new schedules can be seen at LTD’s website.

According to LTD officials, the change in schedule is driven by changing ridership demands and pressure to increase efficiency due to financial and staffing concerns. Officials said LTD service cannot stay the same because boardings are at 70% of the levels they were at before the COVID-19 pandemic, and because many job positions at LTD remain unfilled.

“LTD is actively recruiting for new bus operators and to fill other positions,” said Pat Walsh, LTD’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Until positions are filled, LTD can only provide the level of service it is staffed to deliver.”

Eugene Police Seek Help in Hit and Run Pedestrian Crash

A vehicle versus pedestrian crash closed part of Sixth Avenue in Eugene Tuesday evening, and the driver fled the scene, according to Eugene Police Department.

According to EPD, at about 4:17 p.m. on January 3rd, a 60-year-old woman was hit by a car while crossing Sixth Avenue at Lincoln Street.

Police said the car was described as a black sedan, possibly a Honda Civic. EPD said the car drove away from the scene west on Sixth Avenue, possibly getting onto Interstate 105 eastbound.

Police said the woman was taken via ambulance to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Eugene police requested that residents avoid Sixth Avenue between Lincoln Street and Lawrence Street while emergency personnel responded and police investigated. The roadway was reopened just before 6 p.m.

Eugene police are requesting that anyone with information about the collision, especially with in-car footage of the event, contact them at 541-682-5138.

Fatal Trailer Fire RIDDLE, Ore. – A trailer fire early Wednesday morning has claimed the life of a Riddle man. 

On Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at shortly before 5:15 am, 9-1-1 dispatchers began receiving reports of a structure fire in the 600-block of Council Creek Road near Riddle. The Sheriff’s Office, along with fire departments from Riddle, Tri-City and Canyonville were dispatched to the blaze. When fire personnel arrived on scene, they found a travel trailer to be fully engulfed in flames. 

The fire was knocked down at approximately 5:50 am. Firefighters learned the occupant of the trailer, 88-year-old Gwyn Ray Fish of Riddle, had died in the fire. The Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office were notified and responded to the scene. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. 

High Wind Warnings in Effect for Parts of California and Oregon and Washington

Strong winds swept parts of Western Oregon and Southwest Washington on Wednesday evening, knocking out power for thousands. The National Weather Service of Portland issued a wind advisory through Thursday morning for gusts of up to 50 mph. Forecasters warned that trees and falling debris could bring down power lines for people across the region.

As of 5:30 p.m., Portland General Electric was reporting just over 1,500 outages, Pacific Power had more than 820 people without power, and Clark Public Utilities had just under 1,400 outages.

POWER OUT? UPDATES: Portland General Electric | Pacific Power | Clark PUD

Windy Conditions Continue to Impact Residents Across the Rogue Valley

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) and Jackson County Roads Department has responded to multiple traffic hazard calls throughout the County for fallen trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected throughout today and tomorrow. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. 

At 11 a.m. JCSO responded to a report of a downed tree on North River Road that damaged a power pole in the Gold Hill area. Rogue River Police Department responded to assist. Pacific Power and Hunter Communication arrived to work on the power and telephone lines. 

At 12:39 p.m. JCSO and Jackson County Fire District 4 responded to a downed power line at the end of No Name Lane, near Trail. The power line started a small grass fire that was extinguished by FD 4. The power company responded to fix the line. 

Rural Metro Fire says a powerline struck a FedEx truck north of Grants Pass. As of 11:45 a.m., the FedEx driver has been rescued and no injuries were reported.

At 11:34 JCSO responded to a low hanging utility line at the intersection of David Lane and Payne Road in the Medford area. Pacific Power was on scene fixing the issue. 

At 1:34 p.m. JCSO and Jackson County Roads responded to a fallen tree damaging communication lines near Butte Falls Highway and Highway 62, Hunter Communications is responding.

Jackson County Roads Department has responded to more than a dozen trees down all around the County and warns travelers to be on the lookout for fallen trees. Also, NEVER attempt to move a downed power line or clear trees from the roadway around downed power lines. Instead, call ECSO Dispatch non-emergency line at 541-776-7206 and report it.

BEWARE: Jackson County is expecting more downed trees and power lines during this windstorm so avoid traveling if possible. From the @NWSMedford National Weather Service: People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive. 

The National Weather Service Medford, OR has issued a high wind warning for South County including the area around Ashland and Talent from now until 4 p.m. Thursday. The high wind warning is for south winds 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph expected. For the rest of the County there is a wind advisory in effect from now until 4 p.m. Thursday with south winds 25 to 35 with gusts up to 50 mph expected. For the most up to date weather information during this storm go to: https://www.weather.gov/mfr/

High winds are forecasted through Thursday evening along the coast and into Southern Oregon, which could cause scattered power outages.

Hold on to your hats, according to NOAA the High Wind Warning is for south winds of 35 to 50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph expected. For the Wind Advisory, south winds 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected.

According to the National Weather Service, high wind warning is in effect through 4 pm Thursday, January 5th, in California, Modoc County. In Oregon, portions of northern and eastern Klamath County and portions of Lake County. Most areas of Southern Oregon the Rogue Valley, and up to Roseburg.

While wind was a concern for the Willamette Valley, those in the Columbia River Gorge and Upper Hood River Valley are seeing a wintry mix of weather. Forecasters say people could see up to two inches of snow and some ice accumulations through the evening hours.

Drivers on I-84 and SR-14 should plan for winter driving conditions, you can find the latest road conditions on ODOT’s website, TripCheck.com.

A forecasted weather system could produce strong winds from northern California into southern Oregon today through Thursday evening. High winds and already saturated soil could increase the potential for power outages over the next 24 hours.

Pacific Power’s meteorology team is closely monitoring the forecasted storm and field personnel are prepping to respond to wind-related service interruptions. Forecasts indicate the storm will exit the area by Thursday evening.

To ensure that you are prepared for outages, we ask that every home maintain an emergency outage kit that includes the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-perishable foods 
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets

If a power outage occurs, Pacific Power encourages customers to first check their fuses and circuit breakers. If the power failure is not caused inside the home or business, customers should report the outage to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088 or by texting OUT to 722797.

Get the app. The Pacific Power app for mobile devices can become invaluable during an outage. You can report and track an outage affecting you from your mobile device. The app is free and can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play.

Pacific Power suggests these safety precautions once a storm has hit:

  • Stay away from all downed power lines and utility lines. Even if the lines are not sparking, they could be energized and extremely dangerous. Call 911 immediately, then report it to Pacific Power at 1-877-508-5088. 
  • Extensive rain may cause flooding or landslides. Be especially careful of any standing water or even soggy ground. A live, downed wire may seem to be a safe distance away, but it is still extremely dangerous due to wet conditions.
  • Don’t drive over downed power lines. 

Pacific Power advised last night and again today that its crews were ready to respond to power outages, expecting them to persist from strong winds through tomorrow.

Power Outage At Medford Airport Delays Some Flights

Medford’s airport says its electrical power is back in full after a power outage there “for an extended time Wednesday.”

The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport’s office says the airport’s emergency backup power system engaged and worked as planned though “this system does not cover 100% of required power for the Airport.”

The Airport says passengers should expect slight flight delays as the airport and airlines get caught up with the flights schedule.  It says the airlines and Transportation Security Administration staff (TSA) helped travelers get to their pending flights, even when the process needed additional time.

Jackson County Airport Authority’s Interim Airport Director Amber Judd says, “The extra efforts by the entire team at the airport and patience from our passengers was outstanding.  We ask that everyone expect slight delays and be patient as we continue to get caught up.”

Strong winds that are part of a weather system crossing Oregon and Northern California today and tomorrow are causing power outages, with more than 2,000 Pacific Power electricity utility Rogue Valley customers without power around midday.  Forecast wind and rain over saturated ground in the area can cause power line poles and trees, or limbs, to blow down onto power lines, disrupting electricity and causing power outages.

Oregon To Conserve Six Areas Of Rocky Coast Line

Six rocky areas on the Oregon Coast are being considered for conservation. Andy Lanier is the Marine Affairs Coordinator for the Department of Land Conservation and Development. He said the sites have been through a multi-year process, including engagement with nearby communities.

Lanier says one proposed site is at Cape Foulweather, south of Depoe Bay, where stewardship activities would help maintain key habitats, “Specifically submerged aquatic vegetation, the marine kelps, which are very important.” Lanier explained, “They are a nursery ground for many of our much longer-lived fish species, they provide habitat in the marine environment for many different organisms.”

Lanier said a proposal at Cape Lookout, near Tillamook, would focus on restoring a kelp bed that suffered a recent die-off.

Because coastal communities recognize its importance, fishing regulations would not be affected by the new designations. The process is expected to take many months to coordinate and complete.

The six rocky areas proposed for marine conservation are:

-Cape Foulweather, south of Depoe Bay
-Cape Lookout, south of Tillamook
-Chapman Point, north of Cannon Beach
-Ecola Point, north of Cannon Beach
-Fogarty Creek, near Depoe Bay
-Blacklock Point, north of Port Orford.

Two additional areas were fast-tracked for approval. The Coquille Point marine garden and the Cape Blanco marine research area will be held in conservation beginning January, 2024.

New Study Shows Oregon Faces Sustained Risks And Opportunities As Climate Changes

Oregon continues to face new and enduring hazards related to climate change, but opportunities for adaptation and mitigation are also expanding, the latest assessment released today by the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute indicates.

“In general, the qualitative climate projections haven’t changed appreciably,” said Erica Fleishman, director of the institute, which is housed at Oregon State University and is charged with producing the biennial assessment. “It is becoming hotter and an increasing proportion of precipitation is falling as rain rather than snow, which affects the availability of water.”

The assessment, the first since the June 2021 heat dome event that smashed temperature records and led to dozens of heat-related deaths in the Pacific Northwest, notes that the number and intensity of heat waves are likely to increase.

Oregon saw more days per year topping 90 degrees and more nights per year warmer than 65 degrees between 2011 and 2020 than between 1951 and 2010. Over the past 20 years, the incidence, extent and severity of droughts also has grown. Increasing aridity is leading to increases in the average total annual area burned in wildfires. Glacier retreat has also accelerated, with 20 of Oregon’s glaciers disappearing since the mid-late 1900s and no glaciers remaining in the Wallowa Mountains.

But the assessment also indicates there are opportunities. For example: In the wake of the 2020 wildfires that killed at least nine people and burned hundreds of homes, a survey of Oregonians showed that 90 percent of participants had taken at least one personal action to prepare for future disasters, such as putting together an evacuation kit or signing up for emergency alerts. Survey responses also indicated strong support for policies to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Adaptation efforts are underway in coastal Oregon communities where sea level rise, flooding and erosion threaten infrastructure and buildings. Community scientists’ observations of rain and snow are improving precipitation models. Visual artists are using their work to inform and engage audiences in discussions about climate change.

“Regardless of their political views or personal identity, Oregonians care about each other and their environment,” Fleishman noted. “Our state’s residents are taking diverse actions to preserve livelihoods and well-being as climate changes.”

OCCRI is housed in Oregon State University’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. More than 60 collaborators affiliated with OCCRI, including researchers with OSU, Oregon Institute of Technology, Portland State University, University of Oregon, governmental labs and departments and tribal groups contributed to the sixth Oregon Climate Assessment.

The legislatively mandated assessment provides lawmakers and the public with a biennial assessment of the state of Oregon-related climate change science and the likely effects of climate change on the state’s natural and human systems.

The sixth assessment includes a series of evaluations of three key areas: the state of climate science, climate-related natural hazards and adaptation sectors. Each section of the report is based on peer-reviewed research.

“Oregon is a leader in climate response strategies and worker protections,” Fleishman said. “We hope this assessment will support the state’s ongoing efforts to advance climate equity and evidence-based investments in adaptation and mitigation.”

Among the assessment’s highlights:

  • Disproportionately rapid warming in the Arctic, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification, may be contributing to summer heat waves and hot, dry autumn weather in Oregon.
  • Extreme winter wind speeds may increase, while annual mean wind speeds and the frequency of strong easterly winds in summer and autumn are expected to decrease slightly. Wind patterns impact electricity delivery, transportation safety and the spread of wildfire and pollutants.
  • As the number of hot days increases, so will the extreme heat index values in Oregon. Heat index values are a driver of the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new regulations on workplace heat exposure.
  • Community observation of precipitation through programs such as the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network; Community Snow Observations; and Mountain Rain and Snow is a powerful means of increasing understanding of climate and water availability.
  • Climate change may significantly affect key economic drivers in Oregon by changing the availability and use of water by the agricultural sector and the composition of the state’s timberlands. Evaluating the social and ecological trade-offs of mitigation and adaptation policies will inform economic adaptation.
  • State and local land use laws, which control how and where development occurs, play a key role in climate change response, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the capacity of natural and working lands to sequester carbon. Full integration of climate science and equity considerations into land use plans and actions could better align Oregon’s land use system with the current and foreseeable effects of climate change.
  • Exposure to the complex components of wildfire smoke can lead to negative respiratory and cardiovascular health outcomes and adverse birth outcomes and strain the capacity of the health care system. Risks to farmworkers, firefighters and other outdoor workers who are disproportionately exposed are substantial.
  • Marginalized populations such as Oregon’s tribes are more likely to be exposed to climate extremes and associated negative health effects. But ongoing experience of tribal adaptation to environmental and social change can also lead to high resilience to future impacts of climate change. Tribal communities are responding to climate change through political action, workforce development, environmental stewardship and youth education and fellowship.

The full report is available online at https://blogs.oregonstate.edu/occri/oregon-climate-assessments/. A complete list of contributing authors is also available online.

About the OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS): The college is renowned for research excellence and academic programs that span the earth, ocean and climate sciences, as well as the human dimensions of environmental change. CEOAS inspires scientific solutions for Oregon and the world.

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