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Local News

Mosier Fire Update


Work continues at the site of Friday’s Union Pacific train derailment near Mosier. Fourteen oil tankers derailed and four caught fire. The tank fire has been extinguished. There were no injuries and no structures were lost.

Water and air monitoring is being conducted. At first light this morning, a light sheen of oil was observed about six feet offshore in the Columbia River at the mouth of Rock Creek. Environmental crews are working to identify and control the source of the sheen. Containment booms are being used in the Columbia and Rock Creek.

A boil water order is still in place for Mosier, mainly as a precaution in case an untested well is used for fire suppression.

Residents in an area about a quarter of a mile around the incident were evacuated by the Wasco County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies are patrolling the evacuated area. A decision whether the evacuation needs to be continued will be made this evening.

Federal. state, tribal and local authorities have established a command center near the area to coordinate response, cleanup and investigation.

I-84 between Hood River and The Dalles has been reopened, but the Mosier exit is still closed.

The public information number is (541)506-2792.

Information Line Established For Oil Train Fire Information

Wasco County Emergency Manager, Juston Huffman, has established a hotline at 541-506-2792 with information about the following topics:

 As of 8 p.m., approximately 125 Mosier residents have been evacuated.

 The American Red Cross has set up a shelter for evacuees at Dry Hollow Elementary, 1314 E. 19th St., The Dalles, OR. Call 888-680-1455 with questions about the shelter.

 Home at Last is offering to house pets of Mosier evacuees. Call 775-430-0882.

 Portable toilets have been set up in downtown Mosier due to the order to refrain from putting water down the drain (No showers, no flushing, no rinsing dishes, etc.).

 A Boil Water Notice has been issued to Mosier residents until further notice.

 I84 is closed at exit 87 (The Dalles) and exit 64 (Hood River).

 Citizen Alert, Wasco County’s reverse 911, is also sending information. To register for Citizen Alert visit the Wasco County Web page at co.wasco.or.us. The hotline will be updated as the situation changes. Call 541-506-2792

Oil-train derailment near Mosier

One or two cars on an oil-train derailed near Mosier are on fire and has sent up plumes of black smoke. The accident occured about 12:15 this afternoon. According to Jennifer Flynt, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 10 cars derailed and some oil was leaking. It was not known if any oil reached the Columbia or caused damage to the river. Flynt said oil spill response crews from the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Environmental Quality, and National Response Corporation, a contractor that works with Union Pacific Railroad are en route. UP has confirmed the train is theirs. An Oregon Department of Transportation official, Hal Gard, said 2 cars were on fire. The fire burned about a quarter of an acre in the area of the fire. ODOT has closed I-84 EB beginning at milepost 64 and westbound at milepost 87. The Westbound Rowena ramp is also closed. Klickitat County Emergency Management has asked motorists to stay off Highway 14 because of extreme traffic conditions. Traffic throughout the region is very heavy. Local health officials put out an air quality advisory for people with asthma, respiratory infections, lung or heart disease and diabetes, recommending they stay inside and limit physical activity. Mosier Volunteer Fire Department workers first responded to the incident. They were joined by Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue, Westside Rural Fire Protection District from Hood River, Wy’East Fire District and the Dallesport Fire Department. (Photo courtesy Sean Aiken)


Eagles Face Summit For Title Saturday

Oregon Class 5A Baseball Championship

Hood River Valley vs. Summit, 5 p.m.:  The Eagles look to defend their title against the Storm, who were the top team in the OSAA Class 5A rankings heading into the post-season.  As they did last year, the Eagles are riding defense and pitching in their playoff run.  After a 17-3 win over Eagle Point in round one, HRV defeated Ashland 2-0 on Connor Coerper’s two-hitter, and then knocked off Churchill on a two-hitter by Patrick Harvey, who has also homered twice and driven all of the Eagles runs in the last two victories.  Summit brings in a potent offense led by Washington State-bound catcher Cal Waterman.  The Storm have outscored their playoff opponents 35-8.  The two teams have met twice in the last two years, with HRV defeating Summit 10-0 in a play-in game two years ago, and the Storm winning a regular season game in Bend last year 3-1.  Game time at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer will be at 5 p.m., and you can hear the game on KIHR AM 1340/98.3 FM.

Interstate Bridge Guard Rail Suffers Significant Damage

There will be intermittent single lane delays on the Hood River Interstate Bridge for the next several days after an unknown large vehicle severely damaged a guardrail Thursday afternoon.  Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee says the damage occurred in what he termed a “hit and run” around 1:30 p.m., and while he noted the guardrails on the bridge are hit frequently, this is the largest amount of damage anyone can recall.  McElwee says the vehicle rode hard against the east side guard rail for about 260 feet.  Crews have knocked back sections of the rail that were sticking out onto the bridge deck, but the rail must be replaced.  A contractor will look at the damage Friday, and McElwee hopes repair work that will take several days can begin early next week.  Bridge users should expect delays at all hours.

Wasco County Budget Approved For 2016-17

The Wasco County Commission approved the County’s budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  Commissioner Scott Hege noted the overall total budget number went up to just over 50 million dollars, but that’s related in large part to Mid-Columbia Center For Living building its new facility with a Community Development Block Grant which requires a governmental agency like the County to take on the project.  Hege says the actual County budget saw normal operational increases totaling about one-point-five million dollars.  He did say the Commissioners approved an increase in funding to the North Central Public Health District by about ten percent after a reduction last year.

WS Council Approves Safety Measures

The White Salmon City Council has made safety moves for both pedestrians and motorists.  The Council has approved the installation of pedestrian “bubble outs” at the corners of Main Street and Jewett Boulevard and Wauna and Jewett, which will be paid for by the Washington State Department of Transportation.  Mayor David Poucher explains the “bubble outs” provide a safe place for pedestrians to begin to enter a crosswalk.  In addition, Councilors approved changing to back-in parking on the south side of Jewett Boulevard.  Poucher says back-in parking is safer because it eliminates people backing in to traffic when they leave a parking spot.

Hood2River Relay Set For Saturday

The Hood2River Relay will take place this Saturday, starting at Mt. Hood Meadows and ending at the Port of Hood River’s Marina Green.  It’s the third straight year for the six-sport event that event organizer Chad Sperry says involves downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, road cycling, a run, and kayaking.  Some individuals do the entire event on their own, but many compete in pairs or teams and are in costume while competing.  The relay starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, and competitors should start arriving at Marina Green around noon.  There will be a vendor expo area at the Marina Green open to the public at 11:30 a.m.

Eagles Top Churchill; To Meet Summit For State Title

Oregon Class 5-A Baseball Semi-Final

Hood River Valley 1, Churchill 0:  Patrick Harvey pitched a two-hitter and drove in the game’s only run to lead the defending 5-A champions to a third straight appearance in the tournament final.  Harvey drove in the run in the third inning.  After Morgan Williams walked and Dallas Buckley sacrificed him to second, Harvey drilled a double down the left field line to score Williams.  Harvey gave up the hits in third and seventh inning, but walked no one and struck out four while receiving some stellar defense behind him.  Churchill’s Brock Townsend was as good as advertised on the mound, giving up only three hits and one walk while striking out ten.  HRV moves on to meet Summit for the state 5-A baseball title on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer.

California Man Charged With Assault; Woman In Coma

A 41-year-old California man was formally charged with assault in the first degree in Hood River Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon, while a woman is in a coma at a Portland hospital.  Matthew Shane Irwin appeared by video from NORCOR in The Dalles, as Circuit Judge John Olson set a cash bail of $50,000.  According to Hood River Police, officers responding to the citizen’s call Friday found Matthew Irwin’s girlfriend in the backseat of his SUV in a parking lot on West Cascade Avenue.  Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell said in court the woman is in a coma at Portland’s Emanuel Hospital.  Police said they believe the alleged assault took place Thursday evening in Cascade Locks.  Sewell said in court Irwin had been arrested 38 times in California, had done prison time there and had numerous parole and probation violations, has an outstanding warrant out for his arrest from Sacramento County, and was arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants in Wyoming last year and on May 7 in Idaho.  Olson set Irwin’s next court appearance for June 8.  Irwin faces a minimum of 90 months and up to twenty years in prison if convicted on the assault charge.