Damage from December 2016 ice storm nearly $9.5 million
EUGENE, Ore. - State and federal emergency agencies will visit Lane County next week to review damage from the December 14 ice storm suffered by the county, local cities, electric utilities, schools and other local governments.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management and FEMA plan to visit town Tuesday.
The December 14 ice storm will be evaluated separately from any additional damage the region suffers in the ice storm forecast for Saturday, Lane County Emergency Management said.
Lane County provided this accounting of the damage, totaling $9,451,084.
- Springfield Utility Board $300,647
- Lane Electric Cooperative $1,209,500
- EWEB $4,177,800
- EPUD $832,085
- Lane County Public Works $1,150,000
- City of Springfield $125,000
- City of Eugene $1,180,343
- Willamalane Park District $192,309
- University of Oregon $240,000
- Eugene 4J Schools $40,000
- Rainbow Water District $3,400
"As a next step in the process of the Local Emergency declared by the County Commissioners on December 16, Lane County will be pursuing a Presidential Disaster Declaration with assistance from the State and FEMA," Linda Cook with Lane County Emergency Management said in a statement. "A declaration would make eligible costs 75 percent reimbursable by the federal government and thereby provide significant economic stabilization; without federal assistance the damages would be absorbed by Lane County residents through rate hikes and taxes."
Lane County was the only Oregon county hit with ice during the December 14 storm. The ice damaged hundreds of trees and plunged tens of thousands of people into darkness. Power outages lasted more than a week for some people.
"The onus is on Lane County to meet both a County threshold (roughly $1.3 million) and State threshold (roughly $5.6 million) for damages to be eligible for federal assistance," Cook said. "Lane County is unique from other Oregon counties in that all utilities are publicly owned making them eligible for federal assistance; nearly all other utilities throughout the state are privately owned."