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(Correction: the drone footage of the Hooskanaden Slide was done by Robert Nulph)

 SOUTH COAST — Fairview-Sumner Lane is open again Tuesday morning.

The announcement from the Coos County Road Department came late Monday evening. In addition, some work has begun to repair damage on U.S. Highway 101 after the Hooskanaden Slide dragged the road down the mountainside last week.

In an update from the Oregon Department of Transportation, ODOT and Tidewater Contractors have started clearing debris at the north end of the slide which closed Highway 101 about 12 miles north of Brookings.

“Over the weekend, the ground movement downhill had slowed to about six inches an hour, a significant improvement from a week earlier when the ground was slipping an average of two feet an hour,” the release said.

Once the ground movement slows to three inches an hour, Tidewater will set rock along the quarter-mile section of “displaced roadway and open at least one lane to traffic,” the release said.

That work is expected to take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.

“Most of the movement observed over the weekend occurred at the south end of the slide area,” the release added.

Tidewater began work at the north end, which has seen less movement, because it is more stable.

“Slides are a common occurrence in winter when the south Oregon coast receives heavy rain, and the Hooskanaden area often requires frequent paving and patching to repair cracks caused by ground movement,” the release pointed out.

Though the storm knocked out part of Highway 101, it also devastated parts of Douglas County. In an update from Douglas Electric Cooperative, the public is being urged to not approach workers trying to restore power.

“We have run into a situation that has become both dangerous and counterproductive,” the release said. “Motorists and individuals are constantly approaching our line crews along the sides of the roads where they are working. This is creating a dangerous situation for everyone involved. In addition, it is slowing down the restoration process.”

DEC acknowledged that while it understands the public’s curiosity, it is “putting both individuals in danger."

“Our linemen are not resources for information, they are simply trying to repair damage,” the release said. “Any time taken away from that means it will take longer to get everyone’s light back on.”

DEC invited motorists to instead honk and give a “thumbs up” instead.

In an update from Douglas Electric Cooperative, crews are still working to get the system back in service.

“As we continue to assess the damage, we are estimating that roughly 80 percent of our efforts are going to repairs, while 20 percent involve rebuilds,” the release said. “These are strictly ballpark numbers, but specifically they reflect replacing broken poles, stringing new power lines, and in the less severe cases, clearing trees off the wires. The work that many see alongside the road is of course less intensive and laborious than the crews having to hike into the off-road problem areas. Easier access translates to quicker repairs.”

DEC has received feedback from concerned customers not seeing utility trucks or employees in their neighborhoods. The release asked the public to remember contractors are working with DEC crews and linemen to get power back on.

“Because we have so many contractors who are unfamiliar with our service territory, we have divided our crews and placed one member with each contractor or group of contractors,” the release said. “It is significantly more efficient than trying to direct someone in and around our 2,200 square miles of service territory.”

DEC reported witnessing customers helping each other “who are just trying to exist in these miserable conditions,” the release said. “This is a member-owned cooperative where the vast majority of consumers value rural life, and understand and appreciate the rewards and challenges that come along with it.”

DEC promised that there is progress being made.

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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