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City of Salem Recovering From Floods

News Release from: Salem Police Dept.
Posted: January 27th, 2012 3:52 PM

As river and creek levels continue to drop in the area, the City of Salem is continuing to recover from the flood waters that caused hundreds to temporarily leave their homes and closed scores of streets in our area.

Preliminary estimates of operational costs to the City of Salem as a result of the floods are approximately $275,000. Initial damage estimates of public infrastructure as a result of the flood are currently at $10.3 million and rising, with nearly $8 million of that related to damage to bridges. The Red Cross has estimated that 207 buildings experienced water damage as a result of the floods.

The City of Salem is aggressively working to assess damages and to work with local, State, and Federal agencies as well as private entities to restore services and quality of life back to normal. We are carefully tracking resource costs and damage estimates in order to recover as many of our costs as possible, and we are also providing assistance to public and private entities in recovery efforts. Recovery, restoration and repair of damage is taking place at a rapid pace throughout our community.

The City of Salem Emergency Operations Center has been closed for this event, and the public information phone line that was set up early in the event will be closed at 8:00 am on February 1st. For flood related information after that time, please call the City of Salem Public Works Dispatch Center at 503-588-6333, or refer to the City of Salem website at for other resource information.

The winter storm season is not yet over and the City of Salem is asking that the public keep their sandbags on their property at this time in case of another major storm event. If the sandbags are in the public right of way, we ask that they be moved to an area that will not interfere with traffic or safe passage. In the near future, the City of Salem will provide information about options for safe and appropriate disposal of sandbags. Please continue to utilize the City of Salem website for ongoing information.

The safety of our community continues to be the priority of the City of Salem as we all recover from this event. One bridge by the Salem Hospital (Winter Street over Shelton Ditch) continues to be closed in order to assure the structural integrity is sufficient for the public and traffic to safely pass over. We will continue to monitor snow melt, precipitation forecasts, and water levels as our winter and spring months continue and to provide appropriate public services wherever needed.

The spirit of our community shined brightly during this event, with countless numbers of people, businesses and entities coming together to help others in many ways. Salem Mayor Anna Peterson said "Our Public Works, Fire, Police and emergency services were well coordinated and worked with residents and businesses to identify those who needed to evacuate or to sandbag their property to reduce losses. I am proud of the community's response, and everyone's willingness to pull together and get the job done."

For additional media inquiries on flood issues, please contact Mark Becktel at 503-588-6211

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