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Disasters & Accidents

Oakridge Hit With Large Landslide, High Waters

OspreyPark02.jpg
Jaycob McFarland
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A Eugene family visiting Oakridge this weekend is stuck there, after a landslide closed off Highway 58.

Jaycob McFarland of the South Hills and his two daughters were visiting relatives, as heavy rains drenched the region. He says it was apparent driving into the Oakridge area Sunday that conditions were becoming increasingly hazardous.

“There was a ton of water coming off the mountain, kids were commenting at how many waterfalls had appeared that normally aren’t there," McFarland tells KLCC. 

"And probably pretty close to where the big landslide is that’s blocking the road right now, we saw several little areas that had landslides that had moved down and stopped ditch, next to the highway there.”

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Credit Jaycob McFarland
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Rising waters have caused landslides and flooding across the region, including the Oakridge area.

McFarland adds the Middle Fork of the Willamette River is higher than he’s ever seen it. Probably seven feet above the high water line. 

Meanwhile, crews are working to clear the landslide from Highway 58.

Heavy downpours this weekend have caused landslides and flooding across the region, making travel dangerous in some areas. Transportation officials are urging caution, and to postpone or cancel trips in affected areas.

McFarland says some drivers have been taking an alternate route that goes along the back side of Hills Creek between Oak Ridge and Lowell.

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Credit Oregon Department of Transportation / ODOT
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ODOT
Downed trees and mud block off Highway 58 near Oakridge.

“But that road itself has up to two feet of water - flowing flood water- across it," he says. "So someone tries to go back there with their car, they’re going to get stuck. 

"And at this point, depending on how much traffic has gone through there, that road is just a gravel dirt road, I mean, there’s no telling how bad it’s rutted out by now.” 

ODOT warns people to stay on main roads.  More rain is expected throughout the region today.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

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