AUMSVILLE, Ore. - The dump trucks are rolling into the tiny Oregon town of Aumsville as families begin the long process of rebuilding after a rare tornado ripped the roofs of houses and sent trees crashing into yards and porches.
The town about 50 miles south of Portland survived the twister with damage to 50 houses and four commercial buildings. No one was seriously injured.
Power was back up Wednesday, even in damaged homes, and the town's Christmas tree was lit.
Aumsville is waiting for Gov. Ted Kulongoski to decide whether to declare the area a disaster. Such a declaration would bring dollars to the area for rebuilding.
The city has not yet estimated how much the storm will cost, but is hoping for state money to help.
Latest on the Recovery Efforts
In a news conference Wednesday, Aumsville City Administrator Maryann Hills laid out the city's efforts for recovery:
- Inmate work crews from the Marion County Jail are in the area assisting with the clearing of streets and public areas. Roads will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.
- City of Aumsville Public Works is placing dumpsters throughout the City to assist with cleanup. The dumpsters may be moved to accommodate needs, but will generally be located in the area of Cleveland Street.
- Volunteers are being assembled and coordinated at the Bethel Baptist Church, (503) 749-2128.
- The Red Cross is going through areas that were damaged to offer assistance and support to victims. You can make a donation online to help with funding.
- Damage Assessment Teams are currently conducting damage assessments.
- A brochure has been developed and will be distributed to victims who sustained property damage that will provide them with information about accessing services.
- A hot line has been established by the City of Aumsville to assist those affected by the tornado to in connecting with resources and to provide general information. That number is (503) 749-2189 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and (503) 749-2188 during all other hours.
- Power has been restored and utilities are continuing to check their respective conduits to ensure they are operating properly
- The City of Aumsville is updating its website to "contain the most current information on the tornado and ongoing recovery activities," city officials report.
- Residents will notice the continued presence of law enforcement personnel throughout the City in vehicles, on foot and on horses. This effort included deputies on loan from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, and is intended "to maximize the safety and security of everybody in the area until damaged can be further assessed and addressed."
- Anyone wishing to make a cash donation to the victims of the tornado can do so at the Riverview Community Bank, P.O. Box 350, Aumsville. Specify that the donation is for "tornado relief." The bank can be contacted at (503) 749-1200.