Portland – All Oregonians hit by the recent floods that devastated Umatilla County are invited to a March 10 meeting with federal, tribal, county, city and non-profit officials who will provide information and answer community questions about recovering from the disaster.
The meeting from 5 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 10 at the Pendleton Convention Center (1601 Westgate) was coordinated by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden.
“I know firsthand from what I saw and heard last month in Pendleton just how hard these historic floods struck families, homes, farms and businesses in Eastern Oregon,” Wyden said. “This meeting bringing together agencies in one place will cut through any red tape to provide answers in a one-on-one setting about how to make recovery from the flood fallout as speedy and seamless as possible. It’s the Oregon Way to work together in times of crisis and that’s just what this meeting will do.”
“When I visited Pendleton last month, I was struck by the severe damage caused by the unprecedented flooding along the banks of the Umatilla River,” said Merkley. “I am deeply grateful to the community members, volunteers, and local leaders who have been working tirelessly to get affected Oregonians back on their feet. This meeting will be an important continuation of those efforts, so we can identify, coordinate, and complete our next steps to recovery as quickly as possible.”
“Hundreds of Oregonians’ lives and livelihoods were completely upended by the flooding in the Umatilla Basin. But as anyone who has faced enormous loss knows, the hardest time can be in the weeks and months after,” said Brown. “We are focused on bringing resources and solutions to them, and I’m grateful to our local and federal partners for their collaboration in helping residents navigate and plan to stay in place, reopen their businesses, and rebuild their lives.”
“Now that the floodwaters have receded, we need to take immediate action to help get these communities back on their feet,” Walden said. “This meeting will allow for our federal, state, and local partners to come together and develop the best plan of action to help Umatilla County recover and rebuild. I’ll be in Pendleton Friday to ensure that the recovery process is going smoothly and touch base with local officials to see what more we can do to help.”
Besides representatives from the offices of Wyden, Merkley, Brown and Walden, also invited to attend are officials from the following agencies and groups: the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the federal Farm Service Agency; the federal Small Business Administration; the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service; the federal Indian Health Service; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; the Oregon Office of Emergency Management; the state Department of Environmental Quality; the state Insurance Commission; the state Department of Transportation; the state Department of State Lands; the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board; the Oregon Health Authority; Umatilla County; the cities of Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, Weston and Echo; the Umatilla School District; Community Action Program of East Central Oregon; Energy Trust; Lifeways; Community Counseling Solutions; American Red Cross; Team Rubicon and Samaritan’s Purse; Umatilla and Walla Walla Watershed Councils; and the Walla Walla Vet Center.
A web version of this release is here.