Originally published September 20, 2017 at midnight, updated September 20, 2017 at midnight
Small businesses in Cascade Locks, have launched a “digital cash mob” campaign via CascadeLocksStrong.com.
Participating businesses, among those hard-hit by evacuations, freeway closures, and other effects of Eagle Creek Fire, are selling gift certificates in an online marketplace to customers and supporters who wish to help from afar. Businesses are hoping to bring in much needed revenue through the #CascadeLocksStrong campaign while I-84 eastbound remains closed.
The Eagle Creek wildfire has impacted communities throughout the Gorge, with Cascade Locks, Oregon being the hardest hit. Hundreds of families received mandatory (Level 3) evacuation notices since the fire started, with some returning home two days ago and many still displaced.
Now in a Level 2 evacuation zone, residents and businesses are instructed to be ready leave at a moment's notice. Businesses have been unexpectedly been closed for nearly two weeks during what should be the busiest time of the year. The sudden closure over Labor Day weekend has caused business owners to scramble to keep staff employed while also bracing for a slow winter and spring while the region recovers from the 41,000-acre fire.
Even though businesses have closed their doors to the public since Sunday Sept 3, many have been finding ways to utilize their perishable inventory and have been actively facilitating donations coming into Cascade locks by delivering hot meals to first responders.
According to Cascade Locks Ale House owner Shelley James, “The community that I call home is amazing. Donations brought in by everyone's combined efforts are what made this such a successful effort. We are so thankful for all the donations love and support that we have received to help keep these firefighters fueled.”
Participating businesses include:
Bridgeside Dining, Brigham Fish Market, Cascade Locks Ale House, Columbia Market, Columbia Gorge Inn, Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, East Wind Drive-In, Locks Waterfront Grill, Thunder Island Brewing Co. Visit CascadeLocksStrong.com for more information.