‘Did you just feel that?’: Dayton road buckles in extreme heat

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The crack has the road raised about 6 to 8 inches above where it usually sits

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Dayton couple said it wasn’t just the extreme heat in Yamhill County that shocked them. They were rattled by something else. 

Tiffany Prather said she was making dinner in the kitchen and her husband Andrew was in his office when the entire house started shaking. 

“We both just blurt like, ‘Did you just feel that?’ And it was kind of like, felt like something like maybe somewhere like hit a brick wall,” Tiffany described. 

The couple went outside to investigate and that’s when they saw the massive crack running through the road near their house at Northeast McDougall Road and Northeast Stoller Road. 

“I went outside to see what was going on and I saw some people up on the road, taking pictures of something and then they drove off and so I went up there to look and that’s what we found this big crack in the road,” Andrew said. 

Tiffany said she called the Yamhill County non-emergency number to report what happened and a deputy arrived soon after to investigate. 

Tiffany and Andrew Prather said they felt a tremor when the road buckled outside their home in Dayton on June 27, 2021. Photo courtesy Tiffany and Andrew Prather

There are now barricades in the road to help drivers avoid the crack. Tiffany said the crack has the pavement lifted up about 6 to 8 inches higher than it normally sits. 

“It’s been funny because it’s kind of a tourist attraction out here, people have, people have been like pulling over and going up to and taking pictures. It’s kind of comical,” Tiffany said. 

The couple suspected it was the extreme heat that caused the road to buckle. At the time, it was about 110 degrees in Dayton. 

Mark Lago, from Yamhill County Public Works, said this is the first time he’s seen something like this and he also believes it was the heat. He said so far, this is the only road in the county that has buckled. He said the roadway where it happened is very old. The concrete was poured in the 1920s and it was formerly Highway 99. 

Lago said the county will wait until temperatures drop before they will repair it. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation said in general, roads and bridges in Oregon are built to withstand the kind of heat the region has seen the last few days. ODOT said drivers don’t need to be on the lookout for road hazards any more than they already are. 

The Prathers said they checked with their neighbors and so far, they were the only ones who felt the tremor from the road cracking. For now, they’re just hoping drivers will stay safe and avoid the hazard.

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