Flooding closes highways along Oregon Coast
The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for much of western Oregon Tuesday, as some coastal cities dealt with a fifth day of rain.
The emergency manager for Tillamook County, Randy Thorpe, said Tuesday morning alone the area saw 5 inches of rain.
“It’s been raining continuously since last Friday,” Thorpe said. “We have five rivers that come through Tillamook County and drop into Tillamook Bay. They’ve all reached bank level.”
The sheer volume of water means storm drains are being overwhelmed, causing some localized home flooding, particularly in Rockaway Beach.
“The weather service has been doing regular briefing so we can get our questions answered,” Thorpe said.
Several roads have been flooded. High tides closed U.S. Highway 101 at Route 26, south of Seaside.
Overnight winds of 60 miles per hour blew many tree branches onto power lines, causing outages. Crews around the region have been busy since the heavy rain moved in.
Fire departments are prepared for water rescues and patrolling roads. Of particular focus are a couple of RV parks in flood-prone areas of Tillamook.
But Thorpe said he’s seen worse. “It floods every year. But luckily this year there isn’t any snowpack up high that could melt.”
At least three school districts along the Oregon coast shuttered for the day because of flooding and road closures.
An atmospheric river has brought heavy rain, flooding and warm winter temperatures to the entire Pacific Northwest,closing rail links, schools and roads. Several cities in Western Washington reported record-high temperatures and rainfall totals early Tuesday.
In Wahkiakum County in Southwest Washington, officials on Tuesday had announced they were planning to open an emergency shelter for flooding victims in the town of Rosburg. But later they canceled that plan and said it wasn’t needed.
This article includes reporting by the Associated Press.
Copyright 2023 Oregon Public Broadcasting.