More rescue efforts launched for flood victims in Umatilla County


Helicopters continue to survey the region

(photo courtesy Umatilla Flood Joint Information Center)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Volunteers from multiple agencies are continuing efforts to help people in Umatilla County plagued by severe flood conditions.

An Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M-Blackhawk and a CH-47-Chinook are being used to rescue people trapped by flooding, according to the county’s Flood Joint Information Center. Crews said their focus will be in the areas of South Fork of Walla Walla River Rd up to Harris Park, and Mill Creek.

Volunteer Search and Rescue teams also conducted ground searches in the Thorn Hollow/Gibbon area with UTVs and helped with rescues as they were needed.

Waters covering roads in flood-hit northeastern Oregon began to recede later Saturday, according to the Red Cross.

Emergency evacuation notices were issued Friday to people living in the northeastern part of the county. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties where severe flooding, snowmelt, erosion, and landslides have pummeled the region.

Many roads remain closed by landslides, flooding, and fallen trees in parts of Washington.

Anyone with non-emergency questions can call 541.966.3671.

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