Dearborn evacuation no longer needed

Update: March 1 at 3:15 p.m.

As of Friday afternoon, the situation in the Dearborn has improved and evacuations are not needed.

On March 1, Capt. Scott Van Dyken said he was contacted by John Kernaghan, Dearborn Fire Chief, who said a Dearborn resident was able to get to D3 bulldozer and drive it down the mountain, clearing the road as he went.

By mid-afternoon, the bulldozer was able to link up with a path the fire department was working on plowing into the area which has opened access into the area, according to an email from Van Dyken.
Occupants of the area can work toward this avenue of access to get into or out of the area, according to Van Dyken’s email.

Kernaghan advised that as of Friday afternoon, no one was requesting or anticipating evacuation, according to Van Dyken’s email.

Should the situation change again, search and rescue can still provide emergency evacuations.

Initial report Feb. 26:

Nearly 50 people in the Dearborn area are snowed in and Cascade County is on standby for a possible evacuation.

Capt. Scott Van Dyken of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office is the acting Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator and said that about the roads in the Dearborn are privately owned and haven’t been cleared so about 20 families cannot get out.

Van Dyken said he’s been in touch with the Deaborn fire chief and for now, everyone is fine, but with frigid temperatures and more snow in the forecast, the county is preparing in case evacuations are needed.

“If it gets much worse, we’ll have to go in,” Van Dyken said.

John Kernaghan, the Dearborn fire chief, contacted Van Dyken Monday morning and Van Dyken said he then notified the state DES, Red Cross, the Salvation Army and put the county’s search and rescue team on standby.

The Red Cross put Harvest Springs Community Church on standby to serve as a shelter for any Dearborn residents in case they need to evacuate.

Some of the residents have power, Van Dyken said, but most don’t and relay on solar, wood or generators for heat.

Van Dyken said they made contact on Monday with each household in the Dearborn to get addresses, number of occupants in each home, their ages and if there are any medical concerns so the search and rescue team is prepared and they can have emergency medical services on hand if necessary. The county also ensured everyone in Dearborn had emergency communication abilities.

Evacuations are done by request, Van Dyken said, and the county cannot force anyone to evacuate if they choose to remain in their home.

If evacuations are requested, the search and rescue team will go in to get the residents out and Van Dyken said they’d evacuate pets as well, but not livestock.

“We’re not just going to leave them to fend for themselves,” Van Dyken said.