Santiam Junction ODOT Maintenance Manager Greg Adams Helps with Wildfire Cleanup Rather than Retire
SANTIAM CANYON – After 22 years with the Oregon Department of Transportation, Santiam Junction Maintenance Manager Greg Adams was on the verge of retiring. He had a week to go when the September wildfires swept across Oregon. He was compelled to stay and get the roads open for his community. He works at the top of the Santiam Canyon and says there was no question he would stay to work through the road closures and help his community, any way he could.
Greg – and half the members of his ODOT crew – lost their homes. But they and their families survived, and many of them are back to work, removing dangerous trees, replacing burnt guardrails, and fixing melted pavement. Meeting Greg in this video reminds travelers in the area to be patient and be on the lookout – it’s going to be a while before things get back to normal – and that the damage was historic and the losses tragic.
“People couldn’t get back to their homes, so I felt like I was helping the community by going back to work and getting the highway open,” said Greg as to why he has delayed his retirement plans.
But as Greg says of his Santiam Canyon neighbors, “The Canyon is full of really strong people. They’ll bounce back.”