Emergency declared in Benton County due to flooding

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CORVALLIS, Ore. (KOIN) — Flood waters are beginning to recede around Corvallis, where parts of Highway 34 are still closed.

Hazards, debris and washed-out shoulders are visible along Hwy 34 and ODOT crews are trying to clean it all up quickly to get at least one lane in each direction opened.

Because of the flooding, officials in Benton County declared a local emergency within the unincorporated area on Thursday morning.

A portion of Corvallis-Lebanon Highway reopened Friday morning, including two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane. Bypass lanes remain closed. Drivers should be careful in the area as shoulders of the highway are badly damaged, according to ODOT.

Drivers: Please remember not to try and cross high water areas. Turn around!

Several businesses were flooded and the sheriff’s office had to rescue 4 people and 2 dogs from a fruit stand along the way.

Emergency officials said they’ve made multiple swift water rescues in Kiger Island and Monroe, and they’re getting twice the normal amount of 911 calls.

Some people who were stuck in their neighborhood Wednesday were able to get out and take stock of the damage.

“Pretty scary, pretty devastating just how fast it can happen,” said resident Scott Sinclair. “There’s a few house that the water was going right through their homes, just gushing.”

Flood watch until Saturday morning

While the worst of the flooding seems to be around Benton County, many other parts of Oregon are near flooding stage as rain continues.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the Willamette River from Salem to Oregon City and the Columbia River in Portland and Vancouver. The watch lasts from Thursday morning until Saturday morning.

NWS also issued a new flood warning Thursday morning for Middle Fork of the Willamette River — adding that there will be renewed minor lowland flooding from Jasper to Springfield until Friday morning.

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