Tillamook County declares emergency following $2.5M flood damage

By OPB staff (OPB)
Dec. 6, 2023 11:35 p.m.

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency Wednesday due to flood damage.

Several inches of rain battered the region, causing major damage to the county’s infrastructure, estimated at about $2.5 million, Tillamook County Emergency Manager Randy Thorpe said.

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The county is seeking assistance from the Oregon Department of Emergency Management to fund the extensive repairs.

‼️UPDATE‼️ Road Closure‼️ Southbound lane closure on Sandlake Road near the intersection of McPhillips Drive. Recommend taking Hwy 101 to Pacific City.

Posted by Tillamook County Roads - Public Works on Wednesday, December 6, 2023

The Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office has told residents to limit travel as much as possible. County buildings and schools in Tillamook were closed Wednesday.

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Two roads — Miami Foley and Sandlake — collapsed during the flooding, and Highway 101 was temporarily closed due to high water levels.

Miami Foley is a busy road in the county, and Thorpe said crews are constructing a temporary bridge that will allow residents to cross. There is currently no estimate for when the bridge could be ready.

Tillamook Fire District Chief Jeff McBrayer and his crew of mostly volunteer firefighters have performed 14 water rescues in the past 36 hours. Many people drove their cars into the water, only to become stuck when levels got too high.

“If you approach standing or moving water, please do not drive into it, it is much deeper than it looks,” McBrayer said. “Some of our rescues have been up to five, six feet of water.”

Officials said the water in Tillamook has begun to recede, but they still urged caution for those driving through the area.

Heavy rain has impacted other parts of Oregon as well. A Portland man drowned in Johnson Creek on Monday, and another possible drowning in Washington County is being investigated, pending an autopsy.

High water floods a portion of Highway 101 in Tillamook, Ore., Monday, Dec. 5, 2023, in this photo from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

High water floods a portion of Highway 101 in Tillamook, Ore., Monday, Dec. 5, 2023, in this photo from the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Oregon Department of Transportation / X

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