NOTE: The following article originally appeared in the Friday, Oct. 13, 1962, edition of the Albany Democrat-Herald.
Linn County faced millions of dollars in damage today after the sun rose over a typhoon-devastated area.
In response to a request from Governor [Mark] Hatfield, City Manager Bill Bollman is attempting to arrive at official damage estimates in Albany. He estimates $50,000 [$414,713 in 2018] worth of public property was damaged in the city and from up to $5 million [$41,471,381] worth of private property was damaged within the city limits.
State police gave official estimates today of $1½ million [about $12.4 million] in Lebanon and $250,000 in Sweet Home.
City declares emergency
The Albany City Council met in special session this morning and declared a state of emergency. Council members commended city officials for "splendid" work during the night.
City crews will remove trees from all the city streets, but Bollman reminds citizens removal of debris remaining is the duty of individual property owners. Any debris removal can result in flooding if there is a subsequent storm. He urgently requests the cooperation and support of all citizens.
Volunteer help is wanted by Street Superintendent Oliver Payton to aid in the speedy removal of trees from the city streets. Those with chain saws are asked to contact him at 310 N. Waverly Drive. A spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Bell telephone company reported more than 20,000 telephones are out of service in the area including Albany, Shedd, Adair and Jefferson.
No estimate was available this morning of how long the disruption to service will last.
Bollman said the council "realized the severity of the problem and that the job of clearing will be a tremendous one but emphasizes a need for immediate action in order to avoid even more serious damage in the event of additional stormy weather."
Property owners are reminded that it is their responsibility to remove fallen trees and and repair sidewalks and they are requested to take necessary action at the earliest possible time in order to avoid possibility of serious flooding in event of a rainstorm.
Winds began blowing with with hurricane force in the Albany area a little after 4 p.m. Friday and less than an hour later electricity was out all over the city.
This left radio stations and the entire police communication system helpless, and many homes without heat and lights.
A quick survey of the city an hour after the blast of wind hit showed downed trees on nearly every block. They tore down power lines as they fell and knotted the lines useless.
Police radios out
The largest problem for police was the radio system. When the tower failed the main transmitter in the courthouse was blanked out. It is used by city and county officers. There was no auxiliary in the courthouse. Small, portable radios were rushed to the sheriff's aid and they quickly found them inadequate for proper communication. Without being asked, participants of the "citizens' band" radio network appeared all over the city offering help. Several of them were stationed in cars outside the courthouse relaying messages all over the county.
The unexpected storm caught Sheriff George K. Miller and Chief Deputy Kenneth Goin in California where they were picking up a prisoner.
Taking command of the local office, Deputy Herb Groat met busloads of children who were stranded from their homes by the fallen trees and power lines. Help was first sought from the Civil Defense office, but this proved futile as no authorization from headquarters had been gained. It was decided to take the children to the Albany armory. As buses drove into schoolyards and the courthouse area, they were sent to the armory.
Deputy sheriff Darwynne Knoller, who is also commanding officer of the local guard unit, estimated today over 200 children were kept in the armory. They came from rural Albany, Crabtree and Lebanon. When it became apparent no means were available to clear the roads in time to take the children home, cots were set up in the armory and the students bedded down for the night. A portable kitchen was also installed in the armory for this morning's breakfast.
The children were taken by the Red Cross to the Owl Cafe for dinner by candlelight.
National Guard called
The city police station was another scene of action. Chief Bob Burkhart coordinated his entire regular and reserve policemen and asked for help from the National Guard. Lt. Knofler gained approval to call out the guard at 7 p.m. from Governor Hatfield's executive assistant, Warne Nunn. As guardsmen began arriving at the armory they were sent in groups to the city police station where Burkhart gave orders.
Burkhart's main worry was looting in the downtown stores. Almost miraculously there have been no reports on looting or robbing today. "There were many people told they could not go where they wanted to go last night. I hope they can understand it couldn't be helped at that time. We were doing the best we could to keep things under control," Burkhart said today.
He said the department appreciates the "help given by local residents and local merchants."
The fire department was plagued with "nuisance" calls. Fire Chief Don Hayne said he kept a roving fire truck moving around Albany in search of blazes. "We got many calls from those who thought they had a fire. Finally we resorted to sending only one truck to a call. They were mostly flue problems and overheated oil stoves."
The fire chief had one moment of anxiety. "I dread the moment when the power lines are turned back on," he said. Later, when power did return to the downtown section of Albany, calls began arriving describing "smoking" lines on the streets. Firemen were pulled out of bed at their quarters in the firehall and sent to answer the calls with sleep in their eyes.
City Manager Bill Bollman announced at midnight there would be an emergency council meeting this morning to discuss the situation. He said the city has $12,000 [about $99.5 thousand] in its emergency fund which is available for use if needed.
Sweet Home damage
Wind damage to structures at Sweet Home has been estimated at $250,000 [about $2 million] by Police Officer Jack Sommers and Assistant Fire Chief Ronald Fogle. No estimates of other damage has been attempted.
No fatalities or traffic accidents have been reported here, although unconfirmed statements indicate several persons were cut by flying glass.
It is believed Sweet Home escaped the brunt of the storm's blast. Early reports claim damage is lighter than in Lebanon and Albany. However, branches were covering streets this morning and many broken windows and toppled television aerials were noted. The wind took a heavy toll among deciduous trees.
Some telephone lines were out and long distance was interrupted until 10 p.m. last night. A late report stated that electricity was restored at 8:30 a.m. today.
A bus driver arriving in Sweet Home from Bend said that when he passed through Foster, residents were standing out in the street apparently afraid of being trapped inside their homes by falling trees.
Rev. Franz Schubert miraculously escaped injury or death when a tree fell down around him while he was standing in the yard of the Catholic rectory. He suffered only a small cut on the forehead.
No fires in the Sweet Home area have been attributed to the storm. Two false alarms were reported when smoke backed down chimneys and filled rooms.
At Harrisburg, electricity went off at 3:40 p.m. Friday and was still off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Many trees were downed or topped.
No injuries were reported, but $1,000 [about $8,300] damage was estimated to the John Tweedt greenhouse where the north wall was blown down. The Gilmore antique shop and home was also damaged, according to early reports.
The Harrisburg fire department was called for standby duty at Junction City where fire razed two blocks.