We have a fault line?!


(Nicole Montesano/N-R Reporter) The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Yamhill County at 9:45 in the morning, collapsing most of the buildings in downtown McMinnville.

By late afternoon one lane had been cleared, but the road remained closed to traffic, as search and rescue teams combed the rubble for survivors.

Public information officers repeatedly assured insistent media and frantic residents that shelter locations would be released as soon as possible, but said they could not do so until the buildings had been inspected for safety. Bridges were down on many highways.

Gas had been shut off in eastern Yamhill County, and residents were urged to shut off their gas mains. All communities were without potable water, pending inspections of the lines. McMinnville and Yamhill promised to truck water in from their reservoirs; other cities were seeking deliveries of bottled water.

The death toll was nearing 40 for the county; the numbers of injured were higher, and the number of missing still unknown.

County commissioners were considering a curfew, to stem looting.

“This is going to be awesome for Yamhill County,” County Emergency Manager Doug McGillivray said with satisfaction, viewing the bustling emergency operations center.

There had been mistakes; someone forgot to call someone else, and the problem snowballed; the Red Cross wasn't getting notification of where the shelter locations would be, and so on. That's exactly the kind of thing the exercise was supposed to reveal, to help participants experience the frantic pace of coping with a massive emergency, in a controlled manner.

On Thursday, participants will begin working on a recovery plan.



Was the fact addressed that the only hospital in McMinnville would be cut off from easy access if the two bridges collapsed?

Nicole Montesano

I didn't hear that issue discussed today, although I wasn't there the entire time. However, it is something McMinnville officials are keenly aware of. This may be a good time for me to talk again with them about the problem. I believe the hospital had representatives at the training; Public Health also did.


On the lighter side, with all of the "damage" in east county, has the topic of increased property values for "beach front" property in west county come up?


A roll of visqueen will prove useful.

Nicole Montesano

Look for an update on hospital preparations in the article about the FEMA exercise, in Friday's News-Register.


I'm hoping this can help galvanize the community to really push ODOT to replace the Three MIle Bridge with one that will meet earthquake standards.

Also, it would be interesting to know how the hospital is rated for earthquakes.

AND the armory is also located over the bridge on the side opposite the town. Until the bridge gets replaced, it would be a good idea to keep a stocked MASH unit set-up on the town side of the bridge and have the National Guard drill on putting it up every couple of years and rotating dated stock.

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