EUGENE, Ore. - A bomb scare in downtown Eugene threw a lot of shopping and dining plans out the window on Tuesday, disrupting the Association of Oregon Counties convention and other business and events.
From out-of-town hotel guests to people just looking for lunch, Eugene police evacuated everyone they could find from several blocks surrounding the downtown Eugene Post Office on Willamette Street.
Crime scene tape was everywhere, including the northern tip of the Amtrak train station next to the tracks.
Even folks in the Eugene Hilton had to clear out.
"We made the kids stay away from the windows," said Sage Taylor, a Hilton patron. "Then they came and knocked on our doors, maybe about 15 minutes after all the policemen showed up and figured out what was going on."
"Out of the window I just saw police, you know, setting the parameters and taping off the area," said Jason McKinney of California, another Hilton patron.
Lunch plans were disrupted for a couple of future Lane County Commissioners. Jay Bozievich and Sid Leiken were in the Hilton attending the Association Of Oregon Counties convention.
"We were going to have lunch in the restaurant at the Hilton and they just chased us out of there because it's on that side of the building," Bozievich said.
Police didn't give the all-clear signal until close to 2:30 p.m.
Despite the drama, Kevin Ehrenshaft just took it all in stride.
"I don't think it happens every day for any workers," said the rehabilitation instructor for the Oregon Commission for the Blind. His office is across the street from the Post Office.
"It's not a common occurrence to have a bomb threat in front of your building," he said.