Books ruined as rains flood Oregon library
A flood caused by a New Year's Day rainstorm destroyed thousands of books at the library in Estacada, Ore., on Friday.
The Associated Press
PORTLAND — A flood caused by a New Year's Day storm destroyed thousands of books at the library in Estacada, Ore., on Friday.
"Everything on bottom shelves is gone," said library director Katinka Bryk.
The town is in Clackamas County, where the rains were heavy and Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared a state of emergency.
Rainfall totals in the area topped 3 inches, and low-lying areas were flooded. About 30 families in a mobile-home park were evacuated temporarily, and as many as 60 roads were closed.
County officials declared a state of emergency Friday morning and told residents to stay home if they could.
In Sandy, buildings at an industrial park were damaged by floodwaters. The city closed a water main, leaving some without water service. Damage to a fiber-optic line caused phone and cellphone outages. The city's 911 service was out for a time.
Highway 26 was closed Friday evening by a slide 10 miles east of Sandy. Detours were set up for cars, and trucks were being directed to take Oregon 35.
Packed snow was reported on Highway 26 over the Coast Range, with motorists instructed to use traction tires or carry chains.
At the Estacada library, the water receded but left behind a layer of silt. Mud also buried the parking lot. The 12,000-square-foot building, opened in mid-2006.
Elsewhere in Estacada, a landslide knocked a rural home off its foundation, resulting in a fire that destroyed it. Officials said they're investigating, and said it may have been an electrical fire.
No injuries were reported.
Earlier Friday a three-story house in an upscale development in Lake Oswego was ruined in a landslide, and five people were taken to the hospital with injuries described as not life-threatening.
The rainstorm left urban streets and state highways blocked with standing water, mud and rocks.
Public-health officials advised avoiding contact with the water of the Willamette River, which often is contaminated with sewage after big storms.
Estacada's treatment plant was overwhelmed by runoff, resulting in the release of semi-treated water into the Clackamas River, a tributary of the Willamette.
Health officials also warned people about floodwater contaminated by septic tanks or water from wells that have been flooded, calling for boiling it before use.
Low-lying areas along the Oregon coast and rivers flowing into the Pacific Ocean also had some minor flooding.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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