COOS COUNTY — The Bandon and Reedsport schools, as well as Southwestern Oregon Community College's Coos campus, cancelled all classes today, making the same announcement as the Coos Bay and North Bend school districts as snow continued to fall.
In a press release from the Bandon School District, classes were canceled as freezing conditions persist.
For SWOCC, today's closure includes the Family Center at the Coos campus.
Delaying start times this morning by two-hours is the Coquille School District.
Meanwhile, other districts across the state are also announcing delays, including Elkton where the district also advised parents to wait for further updates.
Yesterday, almost 80 Central Lincoln PUD customers lost power early around 2:09 a.m.
According to Public Information Officer Chris Chandler, the power may or may not have gone off due to the snow, leaving as many as 74 without power. The outage spread through parts of Coos County, and into some of Douglas, Lane and Lincoln counties.
“It sounded like it was snowing good south of Lakeside, so we sent a crew off before 10 a.m.,” Chandler said, though added that power was starting to be restored to homes around noon.
For customers who lose power, she said it is always good to never open the fridge or freezer. Doing so will allow items inside to stay cold or frozen for several hours.
“We tell people if they want to check in to see if they know of the outage, check our Twitter feed and Facebook page,” she said.
Coos County Emergency Manager Michael Murphy wrote to The World on Monday that the initial snow was a dusting and that even Beaver Hill likely only saw less than an inch. However, the bad weather still resulted in one fatal accident that killed a North Bay Elementary student and a speech language pathologist with South Coast ESD, leaving a second child and their parent in serious condition.
Murphy suggested that caution on the roadways will be necessary on Tuesday.
“The problem might be tonight when the skies clear a bit and the temperature drops,” Murphy wrote. “Wet roads may freeze and make a ‘skating rink’ for tomorrow morning’s commute.”
He issued a freeze warning from the National Weather Service, including Coos Bay, North Bend, Bandon, Port Orford, Harbor and Gold Beach.
The freeze warning went into effect from 11 p.m. Monday evening and goes until 8 a.m. this morning.
According to the NWS warning, the temperature is expected to drop to 30 degrees, adding that the freezing temperatures could damage or kill plants and crops sensitive to cold.
In response to the freeze warning, the Nancy Devereux Center opened its doors to local homeless last night.
In a release from the center, it served “hot meal, warm beverages and offering a safe, warm and dry place for individuals to spend the night.”
The warming center is open from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.
“Last night when we were open, we had a smaller number in the warming center than I expected,” said Tara Johnson, director of the Devereux Center on Monday afternoon.
She said there were anywhere from 25 to 30 people in the warming center last night, but attributed it having a harder time spreading the word on weekends when it is open.
“We can tell them we think we will open, but do they gamble and walk here with the chance that it won’t be?” she asked. “I think there will be more people tonight, but they know we’re open.”
During the day, Johnson saw a larger-than-average group cycle through the Devereux Center as people came in to get food and get warm from the snowy night.
“We had a guy come in who is diabetic and his hands were purple,” she said. “We put his hands in lukewarm water, set him up with a towel and hand warmers. We were able to help him. He wasn’t hypothermic, but his extremities don’t have great circulation.”
As of yesterday, Johnson isn’t sure how many days the warming center will be open this week. She makes that decision before going home in the evenings by checking the National Weather Service, but sometimes predictions aren’t accurate.
“There’s been five to seven nights when we should have been open, but the predictions didn’t say it would go that low in temperature, so we weren’t open,” she said.
The warming center is accepting cash donations to help keep it running, as well as gloves, socks, hot coco, hot apple cider, tea, and canned food.
Donations can be brought to the center between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 1200 Newmark Ave. in Coos Bay. Donations can also be mailed to PO Box 3519, Coos Bay, or through its Facebook page and website.