The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


February 18, 2021

Karen Bertroch

Roni Miller at the Rosburg Store.

THE MORNING AFTER: It's Monday morning after a rough, cold weekend. Ice storms are no fun, and that one was a beauty. I have been through those before in Haines, Alaska, with two small kids, as the branches on the birch trees were breaking and falling. Eventually the wind got stronger, and the trees, roots and all, came down around our house. You never forget those days, and I sure won't forget the last three days. I pray all of you, and your animals, are well and no property was damaged.

I suspect the logging roads are going to be a mess this morning, so I hope all the crews stay safe while cleaning up the roads so work as safely as possible while up there.

It was the darkness and the cold that got to me after lying in bed all day Saturday, then Saturday night. By Sunday morning, my "mind wasn't right anymore," as Grandma Nellie would say. Neighbors Andy and Amber Litwin came by to check on me several times. They brought their kids with them which meant the world to me, as it's always fun to see kids playing in the snow. I know neighbors throughout the area were doing all they could to make sure everyone had what they needed. God bless the neighbors!

Anita Raistakka called from Naselle this morning. She told me 38 trees blocked the highway from Naselle to the Megler Bridge. And the Bridge was closed due to ice chunks falling onto cars at the high points.

TRAVELERS: Luckily, Bob and Angie Torppa left on Thursday night on a trip for their 42nd wedding anniversary. Even a few hours later, they wouldn't have made it. Hope they had a wonderful time.

SANCTUARIES: During the storm itself, it seems not many went anywhere, except to the Rosburg Store. With their new line of liquor for sale, the store was a popular place. Owners Roni and Ed Miller were blessed to have their power on. It stopped at the store, though, so many of us were thankful they were open and had heat. Roni told me they had 60 breakfast orders on Saturday morning. As usual, the store has been a shelter and an information center when the weather gets bad and this was certainly a bad storm.

Roni also told me they have purchased Berenice and Carlton Appelo's property on Upper Salmon Creek. It was Berenice's "retreat" and a lovely home during her active years. I know Roni is really excited. Berenice would be thrilled to see it restored and full of family and guests. She loved to put on dinner parties and have friends enjoy the house, too.

Deep River Book Author Karl Marlantes:

On March 24 at 6 p.m, the Naselle Timberland Library is sponsoring an online book discussion with Karl Marlantes to discuss Karl's book, "Deep River." I understand he titled the book using the name Deep River instead of Naselle. One reason why is that he thought readers might not know how to pronounce Naselle. The map on the inside cover changes the actual locations a bit, but when you read it, you'll recognize local places as he describes them. With this book, Karl won the 2020 Washington State Book Award for Fiction. If you'd like to register, call the library at (360) 484-3877. To learn more about the Naselle library's events, look for TRL happenings at

WSP TROOPER Lonnie Eaton retires on March 4 after 30 years with the Washington State Patrol. He has been a reassuring steadfast presence for us. We appreciate him and his family and hope his new life chapter is a joy for them all.

Heartfelt thanks to all the PUD crews, fire and county crews, telephone crews, highway crews, and the sheriff and deputies who all came together and worked hard out in the storm to make sure we have heat and are able to call our neighbors and families this morning.

There are no words that can fully express our appreciation for those who not only keep us warm, but safe and able to drive after all the trees and branches were cut and removed from the roads. Once again, they came through no matter the situation or how bad the storms and floods are. Our lives depend on each and every one of you. God bless and always stay safe.


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