Tuesday's terrorism felt everywhere
- Bill Sheehy
- Central Oregonian - News
>In what many see as the worst attack on the US since Pearl Harbor, even here at home thousands of miles from New York and Washington, D.C., the effects of the disaster hit hard
Moments after terrorists flew passenger-filled airliners into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the nation was put on alert. Even in Crook County, the impacts were immediately felt.
Tuesday, within a few minutes after news reports of the terrorist's action covered the airwaves, County Judge Scott Cooper met with Sheriff Rodd Clark. The sheriff is the county's chief emergency management director, Cooper explained, and the meeting was held to go over contingency plans.
"For security reasons, I can't talk about those plans," Cooper said, "but they cover plans in case of the need to evacuate the courthouse and its closure. While the potential risks here are very, very low, we have to be prepared."
Cooper said the secrecy of the plans wase because, "all too often copy-cats, nuts and crackpots come out of the woodwork in situations like this and we take that very seriously."
County officials were also in contact with state and federal officials discussing the situation even as it was happening. Instantly, when the nation is put on this level of alert, all federal facilities have to be inspected. That included the Bureau of Reclamation facilities, the Ochoco and Bowman dams, as well as the BLM and Forest Service buildings. Early in the day, the Prineville District of the Bureau of Land Management announced the closure of all their offices statewide.
One of the earliest orders issued following the tragedy was the grounding of all civilian aircraft. Not only did that impact all commercial air traffic, but also put a stop to AirLife flights and, had there been forest fires, air drops of water and fire retardant.
Kay Fristad of the Oregon National Guard information office reported that an Army National guard Medevac helicopter from Salem was called upon to pick up and transport a seriously injured individual to St. Charles Medical Center. By the end of the day Tuesday, National Guard officials had begun working with officials at the national level to lift the flight ban for AirLife and other emergency aircraft. It was later announced that the ban on air traffic would probably be lifted in a few days.
In memory of all the people who lost their lives at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., flags throughout the nation were lowered to half staff.
In their memory, and possibly as a show of patriotism, people started hanging American flags in their windows and running the flag up their own flagpoles. It is expected to be a long time before things get back to normal. The time of mourning is certain to take an equally long time.
An amazingly complete report of Tuesday's events from newspapers around the nation, including some of the best photos available, provided by Zwire Affiliate network News service. There are no advertising banners or other forms of advertising attached to this site.