Natural Disasters

http://www.co.lincoln.or.us

Lincoln County is looking to limit the risks of natural disasters. They’ve partnered with several state agencies to develop a mitigation plan. Now the county wants resident to review the public document.

To be eligible for FEMA funding, natural hazards mitigation plans have to be updated every 5 years. Emergency manager Jenny Demaris says the University of Oregon helped lead Lincoln County through the process.

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.

Angela Kellner

Financial assistance is now available to repair utilities and roads in four Oregon counties after February's ice storm. 

It's been two months since the ice storm hit the Willamette Valley. But residents and businesses are still paying the price. Recently, federal aid became available for Benton, Lane, Linn, and Lincoln counties after President Obama declared the storm a disaster on April 4th.

Oregon's Office of Emergency Management, or O.E.M., announced the Public Assistant Grant Program to help repair property and rebuild infrastructure.

Kara McDermott

The death roll has risen to 21 following the massive landslide near Oso, Washington. But the number of missing has been lowered dramatically--to 30. Over the weekend, the search for victims continued. At the same time, residents in the nearby town of Darrington paused to pray and reflect.

Here at First Baptist Church, they prayed for the families of the victims. Members of the congregation also told stories of survival. Steve Sconce was supposed to have been fixing a roof on a house directly in the path of the landslide.