Oregon agencies, residents prep for big storm

Saturday could bring the strongest storm in years

Inside the Tigard Home Depot, October 14, 2016 (KOIN)
Inside the Tigard Home Depot, October 14, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The intensifying storm that arrived along the Oregon coast caused at 2 tornadoes to touch down along the Oregon coast Friday morning, in Manzanita and Oceanside.

The KOIN 6 Weather Team says the strongest part of the storm is expected to hit Saturday, as remnants of Typhoon Songda arrive along the West Coast of the United States.

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Emergency agencies in the area are also getting ready by double checking the communication systems that are already in place and coordinating resources and tools to respond if and when disaster strikes.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management held a briefing with the National Weather Service Friday to go over their prediction for Saturday’s storm.

Different agencies learned what they can expect in their areas for they can respond as efficiently as possible.

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“Today we’re taking a forward-leaning posture, being in touch with National Weather Service and the folks that have been impacted today by the storms in Manzanita, Tillamook County,” said Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “So far they haven’t requested any state resources but we’ll be on watch 24 hours over the weekend and be responsive to those should they come in.”

The office uses a real-time assessment and planning tool (RAPTOR) to learn about emergencies in Oregon

The unprecedented tornado activity on the Oregon coast is a reminder that the most important thing is coordinating communication channels and being ready when something happens again.

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“The coordination for resources and emergency response happens really every day,  whether it’s ODOT assisting with traffic accidents to a more robust National Guard repsone for a natural disaster,” Phelps said. “We do have access to all the National Guard soldiers should the governor choose to activate that resource.”

A tree blocks Hwy 6 near Banks, Oregon during a storm with high wind and rain on October 14, 2016. (Courtesy of Kerra Schmidt Bartlett)
A tree blocks Hwy 6 near Banks, Oregon during a storm with high wind and rain on October 14, 2016. (Courtesy of Kerra Schmidt Bartlett)

Home supply stores also prepare

At the Tigard Home Depot, store officials began stocking a storm supply table at the front of the store. Managers anticipate people might need storm defense items over the weekend.

“We’ve had a bit of a spike this morning. People are getting ready, some people even picking up from last night,” said Daved Zepeda of Home Depot. “The tarps definitely starting to sell quite a bit. I sold a generator this morning, as did a couple other associates. So they’re going fast but we’re ready for our customers.”