U.S. Coast Guard Evacuates Flooded RV Park at Oregon Coast

coast guard rv park rescue
Image courtesy USCG

Published Nov 14, 2021 2:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued 12 people and three dogs from a flooding RV park along Neskowin Creek in Oregon's Tillamook County.

Last week, an atmospheric river caused a series of heavy rain events along the Oregon coast, and it left rivers swollen and hillsides saturated. On Friday morning, a Tillamook County emergency services dispatcher contacted the Coast Guard to request air assistance to evacuate individuals from an RV park on an island near Neskowin due to rising waters and a threat of mudslides. The local sheriffs' department had concerns about whether floodwaters had undermined the small bridge that connects the site to the mainland, so they called for helicopter support. 

About 50 campers were staying in the area, and there were no reported injuries to contend with. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bend deployed to assess the situation and conduct evacuations as needed. Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay also assisted with on-the-ground rescue coordination and communications.

Altogether, the aircrews evacuated 12 people and three dogs, and local first responders evacuated another eight individuals. 

"[Our trailer] was halfway underwater. So, we tried to shove things in real quick. Our tailpipes were above the water and 15 minutes later they were underneath. Our car was gone. So we waded out in waist-high water," said Deborah Fragozo, a camper who described the scene to local KATU News.

Another 30 campers declined evacuation, even though they were told that it might not be possible to get them out later due to deteriorating weather conditions. However, no additional assistance was required, and the floodwaters receded as the rain subsided. The evacuees returned to the site on Saturday, finding flood-damaged cars and belongings.