Oregon Officials: Stay Clear of Aumsville; Flood Warnings Issued
(Salem, Oregon) – After a tornado wracked the small town of Aumsville, Oregon at 11:40 a.m. Tuesday, officials are urging the public to stay clear of the area, partially because of downed power lines.
Meanwhile, some other parts of Marion and Clackamas counties are under flood warnings.
There is still the possibility of hazard-inducng hail and thunderstorms in the area, as well as other parts of Oregon. ODOT is urging drivers to be careful as this could cause more hazardous road conditions.
The tornado tore the roofs off many buildings in Aumsville, but luckily the damage was confined to a fairly small region in town, with some damage still being assessed in rural areas just outside town. The local plumbing businesses building was destroyed, yet there have been no reports of missing or injured in the town.
Oregon officials are quick to urge people to keep away from the town and let crews take care of the damage. As of 3:30 p.m., much of the town’s electricity was taken down to let power crews deal with the many downed power lines, including some power poles and one main transmission line.
If you see a downed power line on the road, officials say to assume it is live and steer clear.
Currently, some 6,000 customers have no power in Aumsville, Scio, Lyons and Stayton.
Roads in and around the area may experience some traffic issues because of power crews working on lines.
Lou Torres, with ODOT, said there are no problems on main roads and highways, but he’s heard reports of downed trees on smaller roads near Aumsville and Highway 22..
“But if you get off into the county roads, debris may be an issue,” Torres said.
ODOT is helping repair crews by lending them many portable lights.
The town is about 20 miles southwest of Salem. That same storm system caused several accidents on I-5 near Turner and Harrisburg around that time. Torres said there were some debris problems on those main highways earlier, but they were taken care of.
Also for that region, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning for Clackamas and Marion counties, especially around the Pudding River near Aurora. This flood watch is in effect until at least 9 p.m. when the NWS will update it.
“Don’t drive into flooded areas,” warned the NWS. “Avoid walking near riverbanks during high water.”
Near Harrisburg and Albany, on I-5