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Flooding Continues in Oregon and Southwest Washington

December 7, 2015


The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. It runs through Wednesday.

Rain pounded the area Monday, with some areas reporting more than 5 inches of rainfall. The National Weather Service reported that Monday was the wettest calendar day (midnight to midnight) in December on record for the city of Portland with more than 2.69 inches of rain as of 3 p.m. Portland also saw a new record for most rainfall in a 24-hour period for the month with 3.22 inches from 3 p.m. Sunday to 3 p.m. Monday.

The storms eased up by mid-afternoon Monday for much of the region, but weather officials expect more stints of heavy rain to continue through at least Thursday. Much of the area is expected to see another round of heavy rain by Tuesday evening.

The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries warned people to look out for landslides. Heavy rain is a trigger and depending on the terrain, landslides can quickly travel up to a mile.

Lou Torres with the Oregon Department of Transportation also says drivers need to look out for standing water on the roadways.

“People are really going to have to pay attention to the driving conditions out there. Really slowing down because especially when they get to the high water, they’re going to hydroplane. It could cause a lot of other issues as well," he said. "So lowering their speed really helps prepare to go through these areas." 

One example of flooding is Johnson Creek in Portland.

Water levels exceeded 14 feet by Monday afternoon. Flood stage is 11 feet. Evacuations happen at 12 feet and the forecast calls for almost 15 feet by Wednesday.

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Portland received more than two inches of rain Monday, causing several creeks and streams to overflow. Officials say several more days of heavy rains are expected.

Bryan M. Vance