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Flooding Prompts Benton County To Open Fairgrounds To Animals

Benton County has opened the barns at its Fairgrounds to animals in need of refuge from high water conditions.

Osborn: "We don’t know that it will get any worse, but we don't know that it won't."

Those words from Benton County Spokesman Rick Osborn about the potential for high water over the next few days.  Osborn says melting snow and rain have caused some pastures in the county to flood and at least one barn collapsed under the recent snow.

Osborn: "We're housing animals that are displaced from those flooded pastures and from any barns that may not be suitable any more to give livestock and other animals a safe place to be.  Since we have the stalls and all the facilities out at the Fairgrounds, we're offering that as a free community service."

As of Wednesday afternoon, about 10 animals were using the facility.  Osborn says most of the County's roads are clear, but there is high water in certain places.  

Rain is forecast to continue falling through the weekend in the South Willamette Valley.  Flood warnings are in effect for much of the central coast.  Officials caution that river and stream conditions could change rapidly.   

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