Heavy rain causes flooding, slides across state

Weather

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — April showers bring May flowers, or at least, let’s hope that’s the case.

In Oregon, we aren’t just dealing with rain showers — we’re seeing such a wet April that creeks and small rivers around the south Willamette Valley started to flood Monday morning.

The Willamette didn’t come close to flooding in Portland but it could rise to about 13 feet this week. The flood stage is 18 feet. 

According to the National Weather Service, Siuslaw, Long Tom, Coast Fork Willamette and Mohawk rivers were flooding Monday. There’s also a chance of flooding for the Willamette River at Harrisburg, Corvallis and Albany.

Closer to the metro, Johnson Creek was seen rising and flowing fast, however, the water remained contained within its banks. The Clackamas River at Estacada crested at 21 feet Monday but already started going down.

Ron Kent has lived at the Carver Mobile Ranch for 15 years with the Clackamas River right outside his back porch. It was a little closer to home after heavy weekend rain. 

“That’s my garden area down there, it’s totally flooded out,” Kent said. “I don’t think it’s too bad right now because I’ve seen it when it’s up halfway on that restroom over there, that brick wall, then you start getting worried.”

Flood warnings are in effect for parts of Lane, Benton and Linn counties until Monday evening.

Officials in Lane County have issued an evacuation advisory for those living in the Row River and Coast Fork of the Willamette River floodplains.

River Road between Eugene and Junction City and Petzold Road at Crow Road were both closed due to high water. 

The rainy weather is also creating hazards on the roads.

ODOT said they’ve received multiple reports of slideouts, rocks and trees across roadways, including OR 58, OR 38 and US 101. Some of the cleanups are expected to last throughout Monday and into the night.

The Oregon Department of Geology also warned about landslides and debris flows across the state.

Unstable conditions due to the Eagle Creek Fire

The Multnomah Falls Trail has been closed because officials say it’s too dangerous — and the Eagle Creek Fire is partially to blame. Hikers can go no further than the Benson Bridge.

Since Friday the Wahkeena Multnomah Loop Trail has been closed because of the ongoing chance of rockslides. There have already been several of them, including one near Multnomah Falls and another near Weisendgender Falls.

The trail will be closed until at least the time when geologists can examine the terrain. Officials told KOIN 6 News that may mean the trail would be shut down all week because of the rain falling on an already-charred terrain from the Eagle Creek Fire.

Crews worked very hard to get the trail to a safe level, but with this much rain there’s not much they can do.

“We just have a lot of unstable slopes that no longer have vegetation on them,” said Matt Ramich, the on-site manager of Multnomah Falls. “The water’s just able to saturate them and really get the rocks moving around.”

The problem isn’t just on the trails. There have been multiple rockslides on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Crews from ODOT have been cleaning those as quickly as they can and the road is still open.

But it’s an ongoing danger.

Officials told KOIN 6 News there will be less stable conditions for the next 5-10 years because of the Eagle Creek Fire. 

Anyone who hikes is urged to be extra cautious, especially in rainy, windy weather.

Portland baseball-softball fields still closed

All the baseball and softball fields in the Portland Parks & Recreation system are closed Monday because of the extremely wet conditions. The parks department will make a decision early Tuesday whether the fields will be opened at that time.

Synthetic, all-weather fields remain open. 

These closures affect only Parks & Rec fields, not fields at Portland Public Schools sites.

In Salem, the Department of Public Works closed their parks as a precaution. More details can be found on their City of Salem Flooding website

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Watch: Flooding prompts some evacuations

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