Water Warning for Oregon Coast's Nye Beach; Traffic Closures Hwy 20
Published 08/31/2016 at 6:11 PM PDT - Updated 08/31/2016 at 10:11 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Newport, Oregon) – One popular beach on the central Oregon coast is now under a water warning due to high bacteria levels, and the large-scale construction project on the route to Newport will be seeing some overnight closures.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a public health advisory today for Nye Beach in Newport saying they had found higher than normal levels of bacteria in the ocean waters around the area. The Nye Beach area encompasses the stretch of sands from about the north jetty to just shy of Agate Beach.
“Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can result in diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses,” the OHA said. “Direct contact with the water should be avoided in this area until the advisory is lifted, especially by children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.”
Exactly what causes the increased pathogen and fecal bacteria in these cases is never known for certain. This can come from a variety of sources along the shore or further inland, including sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
The OHA said the advisory means visitors to Nye Beach should stay out of the water – which includes nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, any water runoff flowing into the ocean and especially discolored water.
“Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm,” the OHA said.
Neighboring beaches like Agate Beach or South Beach are not affected.
While this advisory at Nye Beach is in effect, OHA is quick to point out all other activities that do not include the water are perfectly safe. Kite-flyig, picnicking, walking, beachcombing, etc., are still encouraged by the OHA as they pose no risk.
These warnings usually only last for 24 to 48 hours. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website or call 971-673-0400, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).
The main route between Corvallis and the Newport area of the central Oregon coast is still undergoing a surge of construction. The Highway 20 Project is replacing a ten-mile segment of old US 20 that has narrow lanes and hairpin curves, with a 5.5-mile segment that will be straighter, with wide shoulders and miles of passing lanes.
From now through October 31, expect one section of the highway to be closed overnight from Sunday through Thursday every week. Times are 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The road will be open Friday and Saturday nights. ODOT said there could be some Saturday night closures if the needed, as inclement weather sometimes blocks work.
These overnight closure times allow blasting during the last two hours of daylight. Crews will then work through the night and the road will be open to travel during the day. See Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions . More on the Newport area below and at the Newport, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map.
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