SWEET HOME — A man, woman and their three dogs were not injured Sunday after becoming stuck in the snow several miles up Quartzville Road, according to Lt. Michelle Duncan of the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
Duncan said that about 4:43 p.m. Sunday, the 9-1-1 dispatch center was notified by a man that his 30-foot travel trailer was stuck about MP 23.
The couple drove their 2003 F350 pickup to about MP 8 before becoming stuck again. They contacted friends who were able to cut downed trees and get to the couple Sunday evening.
Monday morning, Linn County Deputy Rodney David returned to the site and assisted in getting the pickup unstuck.
Shane Morris of Springfield told the Democrat-Herald that he and his girlfriend, Jeannette McHugh, also of Springfield, had assisted the couple as they made their way down the mountain road Sunday evening.
“We went camping Saturday morning and when we saw the weather changing, we broke camp about 6:30 a.m. Sunday,” Morris said. “We really got dumped on with snow and didn’t get out until about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.”
Morris said at one point, he knocked on a window of the truck and no one was there, so it must have been after the couple had left the vehicle.
Morris said the adventure was hard on his Suzuki Sidekick. He broke a four-wheel-drive component, but no one was injured.
Linn County Roadmaster Darrin Lane said the sheer number of downed trees — many of which are leaning against power lines — made it impossible to simply move snow plows into the area Sunday. He hoped to start getting heavy equipment in late Monday.
“We will work with Pacific Power and take an excavator in to clear those trees out of the power lines,” Lane said.
Lane said his staff closed the road at Sunnyside Park on Green Peter Reservoir.
Lane said snow levels were heaviest in eastern and southern Linn County.
“There is a lot more snow in the Sweet Home and Scio areas than in Albany,” Lane said. “The Sweet Home area has been a real challenge. It’s not freezing, but there is a lot of snow. We’ve got all hands on deck.”
Lane said county crews were plowing snow by 4 a.m.
“All of our plows and sanders are out working,” Lane said. “Plus, we’re dealing with high water at lower elevations.”
A list of roads that have high water issues or are closed can be found at the County Road Department website: http://www.co.linn.or.us/Roads/RoadClosures.asp.
Lane said he planned to transfer more staff to the Sweet Home area, “as soon as we can.”
He said Courtney Creek Road between Brownsville and Sweet Home was closed due to a downed power line.
Linn County deputies also assisted a man and a woman who had driven up to the Mt. Tom area east of Harrisburg about noon Saturday in a Jeep Cherokee.
They tried to drive over a downed tree and became stuck.
They spent the night in their vehicle and an additional 12 to 15 inches of snow fell.
Sunday, after contacting the dispatch center, they began to walk away from their vehicle.
Linn County Forest Patrol, Linn County Search and Rescue, a BLM ranger and a Lane County 4 X 4 club mounted a search for the couple.
They were found about 4:57 p.m. and were not injured.
Sweet Home Public Works Director Greg Springman said City Hall was closed Monday, but Public Works was dealing with both snow and water issues.
“We’ve had intermittent power outages, but we’re keeping all major services open,” Springman said. “We’ve cut up a few downed trees.”
Springman was concerned about water issues, due to the amount of heavy rain that pounded the area in recent days.
“We already had lot of water and if this snow melts quickly, it could tax our storm drainage system to the max,” he said.
Springman said there was a sewer system overflow Sunday due to the excessive rainfall.
The city has placed a stockpile of sand and sandbags at the parking lot east of City Hall at 12th and Kalmia, Springman said.
Officials in Lebanon and Brownsville said there communities had not experienced any major weather issues. Brownsville City Hall closed at noon Monday due to a power outage.
The mid-valley weather forecast is calling for overnight low temperatures dropped to 22 to 26 degrees every night for several days. Daytime highs could reach 46 degrees.