Salem, OR – Beginning next week, members of the Oregon Army National Guard will begin to assist local authorities in ensuring the safety of county residents severely impacted by the winter storms and subsequent power outages. Since the winter storm, Marion County's Emergency Operations Center has been working with local communities to provide support for the thousands of residents who have been impacted. The guard's support will complement the efforts of the Marion County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Teams in conducting welfare checks on vulnerable residents around the county.
Kevin Cameron, Board Chair, stated: "This storm has brought a tremendous new set of challenges to our community which has already faced significant difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the wildfires in September. By accepting the aid of the Oregon National Guard, we ensure we're doing all we can to provide for residents in their time of need."
While the specific details of the deployment by the National Guard are still in the planning stages, we anticipate service members being available to assist as early as Monday morning, February 22nd. Sheriff Joe Kast stated, "We look forward to having the women and men from the National Guard coming to assist our Search and Rescue teams with getting resources out into the community. We'll be working with Emergency Management to get them supplied with water, blankets, and other supplies our community members may need." Community members seeing National Guard service members can expect to see them wearing bright reflective vests to assist with being more visible to those in need of assistance.
Marion County has established a call center for community members to request support, welfare checks, and information related to debris cleanup at 503-588-5108. The information is also available online at: www.co.marion.or.us/alerts.