Alarms went off late Tuesday night that warned people of a “CIVIL EMERGENCY” followed by another warning stating “WATER EMERGENCY FOR THE SALEM AREA.” The following day people would learn that there was an Algal contamination in the Detroit Reservoir that put young children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems at risk.
Many people began rushing to stores to stockpile water. As water supplies started to drop, prices began to rise leading some people to drive out of town to find water. One restaurant owner felt a big backlash after making a poorly timed joke about having “inside information” about the emergency. Luckily though the entire area wasn’t affected.
In Keiser, Oregon the water was still safe to drink. Keizer water comes from wells that are attached to the un-impacted Troutdale aquifer. Keizer made three 24-hour water distributing sites near city hall. On top of that, over 20 businesses in Keiser began distributing water to those affected but asked people to bring their own containers. Governor Kate Brown sent several trucks filled with water to help distribute water.
The water warning is still in effect, however, there are reports that it is getting better. Reports from Wilsonville say that the same type of Algae problem is occurring there but to a far less extent and that there is nothing to worry about.