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Oregon Coast Under High Wind Warning, Flood Watch

Published 02/08/2017 at 6:29 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Under High Wind Warning, Flood Watch

(Oregon Coast) – The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland has issued many warnings and watches around the state, including flood watches and high wind warnings for the Oregon coast and coast range. Large swells along the ocean will translate to big waves battering the shores as well, which has brought a high surf advisory to the southern coast – but the northern half of the beaches will require caution.

“The coast is looking at two to four inches of rain,” the NWS said. “High winds with gusts up to 65 mph along the beaches and headlands. Also, flooding is a possibility in the area. The valley is looking at one to two inches of rain with the possibility of flooding.”

The high wind warning is in effect from 10 p.m. tonight through 10 a.m. on Thursday, with wind speeds growing to 35 mph up to 50 mph after midnight, and gusts up to 65 mph possible on beaches and headlands. The greatest impact will be in the overnight and early morning hours, the NWS said, between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m.

“Localized power outages possible,” the NWS said. “Broken branches and tree debris on roadways, combined with heavy rain, may create hazardous driving conditions at times. A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more can lead to property damage.”

Flooding is a big concern along the Oregon coast as well as much of the valley. A flood watch is in effect from now until late Friday for the majority of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, including the coast range, the I-5 corridor, Cowlitz County and other areas.

The NWS is keeping a close eye on a variety of rivers, including the Nehalem in Clatsop and Tillamook Counties, the Wilson in Tillamook County and the Siletz in Lincoln County. Many rivers in in the Portland metro area and around inland towns such as Monmouth, Salem, Corvallis, Silverton and Dallas are at risk of flooding as well.

The NWS said rainfall totals today in the Oregon coast range are around one to two inches already.

“The heaviest rain is expected overnight tonight, with totals of 1 to 3 inches, highest in the North Oregon Coast Range and South Washington Cascades,” the NWS said. “Snowmelt in the Coast Range and Cascades, especially below 2000 ft. elevation, will add to the runoff.”

Those who live in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action, the NWS said. Landslide and debris flows are possible, with people and structures in canyons and near the mouths of canyons at an especially high risk.

Offshore swells will make for enormous waves on the beaches, prompting an advisory on the south coast (especially around Brookings). Beaches around Florence, Yachats, Newport, Lincoln City, Oceanside all the way up to Warrenton will be seeing combined seas of 18 feet tonight. On Thursday they get even larger at 21 feet, wandering up and down in height from 17 to 20 feet for the next day.

However, the timing of the waves is rather long, which means more impact at sea rather than on the beaches. Still, stay off jetties and smaller beaches, especially those with cliffs behind them that don't allow escape from the beach. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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