Thursday, June 20, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
March 05, 2013
POLK COUNTY -- Did you hear that explosion?
A blast -- sounding like a car backfiring or the rumble of thunder, at least in the Dallas area -- was heard at around 3 p.m. on Feb. 27 throughout a large area of Polk County.
Exchanges between dispatchers and local officers on the police scanner indicated people were calling in reports of seeing a plume of smoke in the Falls City area, too.
Both the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Dallas Police Department received numerous calls about the blast.
"Oh yeah, we got quite a few," said Lt. Jeff Isham with the Sheriff's Office. "Even people in Dallas were calling. Dallas PD got a few suspicious activity calls that were about (the same incident)."
But the drama was short-lived. Shortly after the blast was heard, a call to Weyerhaeuser confirmed that it was nothing more than work in a rock quarry about 5.5 miles up Valsetz Road.
"Apparently, Weyerhaeuser was doing some blasting up there and realized that they should have let us know beforehand," Isham said.
Falls City Administrator Amber Mathiesen said the explosion was a surprise to city staff, too. She said the city had been informed that blasting would be taking place, but weren't provided with a specific date.
She said the city will be requesting notification of any such activity in the future so residents can be better prepared.