Woodburn residents still in cold, dark 1 week after ice storm

Marion County

WOODBURN, Ore. (KOIN) — Imagine a “glass tower raining down,” followed by “tremendous thumps” as tree branches and limbs hit the street.

That is what it felt like in Woodburn for Ruth Wells last week after a historic ice storm ravaged the city and others across Oregon and Washington.

“It was scary,” she said.

A portion of Garfield Street in Woodburn remained closed Friday, and although most of the branches were cleaned up on that street and North Third Street, Wells said she is worried about broken limbs that remain dangling over her neighbor’s roof.

Wells said she hopes the city will step in and remove the damaged branches so someone isn’t hurt.

The town has been hit hard by the outages. Desperate for warmth some have been bringing generators and heating devices inside, inadvertently giving themselves carbon monoxide poisoning.

Meanwhile, the Woodburn Outlet Mall is still dark, along with several other nearby businesses and residential homes.

Power crews have been working on the downed power lines at Woodburn Estates for the last several days. More than 220 homes were still without power Friday.

Dawn Cole, HOA Manager for Woodburn Estates and Golf told KOIN 6 News that she is especially worried about older residents, 500 of which are in their 80s.

Luckily, power was restored at the clubhouse, so they plan on converting it to a warming shelter for residents from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

“They can warm up, have some coffee, charge their computers, their phones. We are going to have food boxes there from the food bank,” Cole said.

But night after night of the cold and dark weighs on residents.

Sharyn Cornett, president of the board of directors at Woodburn Estates said a lot of seniors have been struggling through the outages.

“If you have a gas fire place you’re lucky, if you have a gas range you’re lucky. Most don’t,” she said.

Both women said that while residents are resilient, the current situation is not sustainable.

“You get to a point where it starts to kind of break you little bit,” she said.

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