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Feb-06-2008 09:05printcomments

Oregon Guard Soldiers Helping Residents in snowbound Detroit and Idanha

Unusually heavy snowfall accumulated in the cities of Detroit and Idanha as a series of snowstorms swept through the region in recent weeks, and the forecast calls for more snow.

Oregon Guard soldiers shoveling snow near Detroit, Oregon, 2-6-08
Photo courtesy: Oregon Guard

(DETROIT, Ore.) - Twenty seven soldiers of the Oregon National Guard arrived in Idhana Tuesday to assist the snowbound community in its effort to recover from weeks of unusually heavy snowfall.

Upon arrival, senior members of the citizen-soldier contingent met with mayors Idanha and Detroit as well as officials from Marion and Linn Counties to lay out plans for supporting both communities.

"It was critical to learn the priorities of the mayors," said Major Michael Braibish, spokesperson for the Oregon Military Department. "We're here to help these communities, and the mayors know best who needs help and where we can be best used."

The remainder of the troops cleared snow from key facilities in Idanha.

"We were able to open a little more breathing room around the volunteer fire department, City Hall, and the one general store that serves Idanha," said Braibish. "We were also able to clear snow from around three of nine fire hydrants, and it's been a very difficult chore to clear even just three hydrants. The snow reaches up to the street signs making it difficult to locate the hydrants let alone clear enough area around them."

Unusually heavy snowfall accumulated in the cities of Detroit and Idanha as a series of snowstorms swept through the region in recent weeks, and the forecast calls for more snow.

"Reports show we can expect anywhere from eight to 25 inches of new accumulation over the next 48 hours," said Braibish. "These communities need help now, and we'll be here over the next few days doing what we can to meet the priorities of the mayors."

Marion and Linn Counties, the City of Salem, the Oregon Department of Transportation, inmate crews from the Oregon Department of Corrections, and the Oregon Military Department have all participated in the ongoing effort to assist Detroit and Idanha.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management also continues to watch the forecast that calls for more snow followed by a rise in the freezing level, a situation that could exacerbate the situation with flooding in lower areas.

Braibish noted that although only two communities need assistance at this time no one can predict when a disaster will strike other areas in the state.

"We know there are many common threats – winter storms, floods, forest fires, and manmade disasters," said Braibish. "The key is taking time before a disaster strikes to make sure you, your family and friends, and your community are prepared."

For information on how to prepare, Braibish recommends that Oregonians visit the Oregon Office of Emergency Management website for guides and information on how to prepare for disasters.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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