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Old 02-15-2008, 10:45 AM
 
62 posts, read 179,076 times
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I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about Florence and the surrounding area. I did an MLS search of properties there and really liked what I saw. It seems very lush and the land prices seemed decent.

What is it like to live there?

Can you find employment in Florence?

Are Tsunamis a threat?

I also saw land half way in between Eugene and Florence that looked nice in areas such as Walton, Mapleton ect. Does anyone have any experience living in one of these small towns? If so, how do you like it and how are the people in this area? Thanks
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: PNW
306 posts, read 1,523,272 times
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My family has property at Triangle Lake (east of Mapleton), west of Junction City. These are gorgeous areas, but are not really living-friendly.

First, there aren't amenities. You have to go at least 30 minutes for groceries, and the gas that is out there is really expensive.

Second, the crime level is high. Springfield/Eugene police do not cover that territory, so Florence police do. In the summer the speeding at the lake is ridiculous and sometimes (aka 1-2x/summer) cops will use our driveway to catch 'em. My Grandfather always takes the cops food and soda, and interesting conversation ensues. Basically, it boils down to the forces being too small and too under-funded to cover Mapleton, Walton, Deadwood, etc. What makes this problem worse is that the locals know this. One officer I spoke to called the area "lawless." Supposedly it's not so bad in the summer, but in the winter there is no vacationers headed through there, so crime escalates. I'm sure you could find data with the actual statistics. But you couldn't pay me to live out there.

If you really want to live in this area, I would suggest living just east of Florence. The farther west you go on Highway 36, the nicer things seem to get. And there is some amazing property along the Siuslaw River near Florence.

As far as tsunamis go, there's always going to be a threat if you choose to live coastally, but even if you lived in Eugene, it would still affect you. I haven't heard anything about one being "due" to occur, though.

Employment in Florence. What type of employment are you looking/suited for? There's a large year-round population, but that area really blooms in the summer. Also, the town is known for it's retiree population.

Hope this info helps you out. Sorry to be a downer about Mapleton, Deadwood, etc, but I need to be honest. Good Luck!
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
239 posts, read 1,222,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyKnox View Post
....
If you really want to live in this area, I would suggest living just east of Florence. The farther west you go on Highway 36, the nicer things seem to get. And there is some amazing property along the Siuslaw River near Florence.

As far as tsunamis go, there's always going to be a threat if you choose to live coastally, but even if you lived in Eugene, it would still affect you. I haven't heard anything about one being "due" to occur, though. ....
Tsunamis are generated by earthquakes and earthquakes are unpredictable. Tsunamis, generally speaking, are fairly predicatable if/when an earthquake occurs. And then, it needs to be a certain type of earthquake in order to generate a tsunami.

One night in December or January (I can't remember exactly when it was) the Brookings/Harbor area was blasted by the tsunami warning siren at 2 a.m.! Parts of Harbor were evacuated. There had been an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska) area and the Tsunami Warning Center which monitors such things 24/7, put out an "advisory". Somehow area officials were 'confused' and thought it was a 'warning' and thus, sounded the siren. The advisory was cancelled an hour or so later. The next day, everyone pointed fingers at everyone else. The residents of Harbor fumed a little then forgot about it.

Earthquakes are constant here on the west coast. Check out the NOAA website which monitors earthquakes and tsunamis around the clock. There are maps on that site where you'll see lots of little colorful dots where various earthquakes have occurred on a daily basis. On the west coast, some areas are more active than others.

Most earthquakes DO NOT generate tsunamis. The majority of the earthquakes occurring along the west coast are very small, too small to even be felt. This is a good thing. It relieves the pressure along the faults (or so goes the theory). However, the Pacific Northwest borders what is called the "Cascadia Subduction Zone" where two tectonic plates meet and continually move/push towards each other. Eventually one plate will slip underneath the other, in a sudden spring-like movement, which will trigger a major earthquake and no doubt, subsequent tsunamis.

A subduction zone earthquake was what generated the 2004 Sumatra/Indian Ocean tsunami that devastated Thailand and other areas.

Most tsunamis will not 'penetrate' more than a few miles inland, roughly ten miles is the maximum if the terrain is flat. However, if you live along a river, then the tsunami waves will move up along the river, and cause sudden flash flooding, hundreds of miles inland as the river carries the water from the tsunami waves inland.

Tsunamis are extremely rare. So are "big" earthquakes. However, a major earthquake can hit anywhere along the west coast at any time. And, sooner or later, a major, "big" quake will hit and devastate a large area, and may cause massive loss of life. If this fact troubles you and will cause you constant worry, then west coast living is probably not for you. Florence is a tsunami zone area as is most of the Oregon coast. I live right along the coast but our home is 125 feet above sea level. The highest tsunami ever recorded was somewhere around 50-60 feet high although there is some geological evidence suggesting that a tsunami over 100 feet high hit the Japan islands in the 1700s. Still, I am not worried.

Anywhere you live in this country or in the world, you are subject to some natural disaster, such as wild fires, flooding, hurricanes and/or blizzards, tornados, and even decade-long droughts. Mother Nature provides beauty and resources but not security. Nor will she comply with any human rules or laws or acquiesce to even the most devoted of prayers for leniency.

Personally, living here in this awesome environment where I am not annually subjected to hurricanes or tornados or blizzards, nor even wild fires now that I live near the coast, is well worth the risk of being here and even dying here, when "The Big One" hits.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:30 AM
 
62 posts, read 179,076 times
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It sounds like they are not a very big cause for concern. I am not the type to sit and worry about the what-ifs so I don't think it would be an obstacle for us. I was just wondering if evacuating the area would be part of regular life every so many years or so. My mother lives on the gulf coast in Florida and has to deal with that.

It sounds like the "lawless" issue is much more of a real concern. We do want to live rural so the 30 minute drive isn't a big concern. I actually really like the idea of being 30 minutes from Eugene and also 30 minutes from the coast. I'd rather be tucked away on a nice wooded lot than connected to every available convenience.

We do have a 5 year old though so I would like to live in a safe enough neighborhood for her to be able to ride her bike and climb trees without fear and having to have her in constant eye sight.

As far as employment, I am just about to graduate with degrees in anthropology and environmental science so state parks, DNR, EPA types of jobs would be nice for me, my S.O. has a business marketing degree and has been doing lean management work for the past 10 years.

I appreciate your guy's advice and I'll do a bit more research! Thanks
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:32 AM
 
Location: coos bay oregon
2,096 posts, read 8,501,948 times
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my inlaws live just out of Florence, in Dune City. They own a little resort on the lake out there and love it. They came from the Tigard area, and are so much happier out here.
There are a lot of retired people out there, but many families as well. Theres some cute parks, a fitness center that has ongoing gymnastics classes, and other activities.
I like the area, but it is a bit on the highside for housing prices. Of course, with all the prices all over Oregon dropping, they may there as well!
We lived the last few years directly on the bay, with ocean views and never worried much about a tsunami. We did have a threat of one a few years ago, they were evacuating people and things got pretty interesting, but the total highth ended up being about 2 inches. Not too much of a threat.
Id rather live along the beach, with a possibility of a tsunami than in a tornado alley where such hazardous weather is a way of life and DOES happen w/regularity. Or in Florida w/their hurricaines, MidWest w/the blizzards, etc. We have a pretty mild weather out here. And now spring has arrived, personally, im gonna go spend the day w/the kids playing on the beach today...its a glorious bright blue skied day.
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:56 PM
 
62 posts, read 179,076 times
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Thanks Tiffela, it's good to hear that there are people happily living in the area. Is crime an issue around florence too, or just more inbetween there and eugene?

Also, is there good hiking in the area? How far from the mountains are they?

Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:43 PM
 
Location: coos bay oregon
2,096 posts, read 8,501,948 times
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I actually live south a bit, in CoosBay, but of course, w/the inlaws so close, we're up there quite a bit....
theres endless walking along the beaches, and if you want a good work out, go walkin in the dry sand...boyo, what a workout!
There is a lot of hiking in the wooded areas, around lakes, that kind of deal.
Im going to try and PM you one of the area websites my fil did up. its got some good infor on it you might find useful.
As for crime, the only theft or threat they have encountered, was shortly after they first moved there. They didnt secure their garbage can lids very well and woke to a bear!!!! helping himself! YiPES! lol
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:32 PM
 
Location: PNW
306 posts, read 1,523,272 times
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You mentioned a 5 year old. Do you plan to homeschool? If not, the only schools I know of between Euguene and Florence are Triangle Lake Schools. The area right around Triangle Lake isn't as bad as the areas farther west, it's a bit more populated. The Lakeview Store burned down about 1 year ago, but they're rebuilding it, so if you did live in that area, you would be able to get milk and eggs easily. There are some nice view lots off of Little Lake Road overlooking Triangle Lake, and I know there was some for sale last summer. You would be about 30 min from Junction City, 50 from Florence.
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:39 PM
 
62 posts, read 179,076 times
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Coos Bay looks beautiful also! I've done a bit more searching around Eugene and I've found cheaper land in Creswell, Fall Creek, Blue River, Drain, and Oakridge.

Are all of these areas ok, or should any of them be avoided?

Thank you for all your input!
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:43 PM
 
62 posts, read 179,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyKnox View Post
You mentioned a 5 year old. Do you plan to homeschool? If not, the only schools I know of between Euguene and Florence are Triangle Lake Schools. The area right around Triangle Lake isn't as bad as the areas farther west, it's a bit more populated. The Lakeview Store burned down about 1 year ago, but they're rebuilding it, so if you did live in that area, you would be able to get milk and eggs easily. There are some nice view lots off of Little Lake Road overlooking Triangle Lake, and I know there was some for sale last summer. You would be about 30 min from Junction City, 50 from Florence.
I have been considering homeschooling but in the end I don't think I would end up doing it. We are also vegetarians and I absolutely can't wait to get growing a giant amazing veggie garden and who knows we may get a couple chickens. We've never done anything like that before but it's all part of our "escape the rat race, move to a nice secluded acre in OR" plan! haha. Thanks for the Triangle Lake tip!

Farmers markets in the area would be great though I know with as rural as I'm looking that might be asking too much?
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