PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Waters covering roads in flood-hit northeastern Oregon were starting to recede, allowing residents to return and assess the damage.
An approximately 10-mile (16-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 84 south of Hermiston, Oregon, remained closed Sunday due to flood damage and authorities say it could be a week before it reopens. A detour is in place.
Oregon National Guard troops aboard two helicopters airlifted 21 people to safety on Saturday, and authorities reported a 62-year-old woman who lived in one of the areas hit by floods was missing. The helicopter missions continued Sunday and volunteers also assisted flood victims.
Residents in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon had to be airlifted by from their flooded homes and even were taken out in a front-end loader as rain and melting snow caused rivers to crest their banks. Some neighborhoods in Pendleton, a town of 16,000, were hit, damaging mobile homes.
Seventeen evacuees spent Friday night at the Red Cross shelter in the Pendleton Convention Center, and numerous people dropped off blankets, pillows and other comfort items, said Nadine McCrindle, the Red Cross executive director for central and eastern Oregon. Another eight people stayed at a shelter in Walla Walla, Washington.