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Oregon / Washington Coast Flood Watches: Landslides, Road Washouts Possible

Published 12/09/23 a 4:55 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon / Washington Coast Flood Watches: Landslides, Road Washouts Possible

(Manzanita, Oregon) – The potential for floods remains high through the weekend along the northwest corner of Oregon and southwest part of Washington, with a flood watch for the south Washington coast and upper half of the Oregon coast. Landslides and more roads washing out could be an issue as well. (Photo Tillamook Public Works: road at Tierra Del Mar that slid away this week)

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The National Weather Service (NWS) issued the flood watches, in effect from Saturday through Sunday afternoon. A moderate strength atmospheric river will be pounding the region, creating a sizable flood potential for the passes and the shoreline, from the Willapa Hills and Ocean Park down through the Coast Range and into Seaside, Newport and Florence. Offshore, high surf will be creating wave height up around 19 feet in many areas, which when combined with high tides and rainfall on Saturday will make for an even bigger flood risk for many coastal areas already prone to flooding. Two Road Washouts on N. Oregon Coast Could Drastically Affect Traffic, Agencies Scramble to Fix

“Elevated rivers and saturated soils from this past week's rain will bring potential for flooding and/or landslides,” the NWS said. “This includes all locations except the north Oregon Cascades. Impacts: Flooding along some rivers and creeks possible. There is a 10-30% chance that rivers and creeks along the coast, Coast Range, and Willapa Hills reach minor flood stage.”


Flooding this week at Sunset Bay State Park, courtesy OPRD

Exactly when this might happen is still a fairly big unknown, the NWS said.

Flooding blocked off Highway 101 at Seaside for part of a day this week, and two roads in Tillamook County crumpled because of heavy rains moving the ground. Oregon coast officials worry there may be more.

The NWS said do not drive into flooded areas. Find a different route. For flood safety tips, visit weather.gov/safety/flood.

Most likely to flood are the Naselle and Grays rivers on the Washington coast, as well as the Wilson and Nestucca rivers on the Oregon coast.

“Rainfall from this afternoon into Sunday morning will be 1 to 3 inches of rain along the coast, with 3 to 7 inches across the Coast Range,” the NWS said. “Also of note is that Sunday`s high tide will be running 1 to 2 ft higher than it was earlier this week. This may exacerbate flooding for roads and communities near the mouths of coastal rivers.”

With wave height launching into the upper teens over the weekend, if you can stand the deluge it will be a good time to check out places like Shore Acres on the southern Oregon coast or Cape Disappointment on the south Washington coast. Both of those can get spectacular waves, as can some areas around Yachats and Depoe Bay.

Waves calm greatly early in the week, coinciding with sunny skies on the two coastlines from Tuesday through Thursday. These will be great days for beachcombing after such high waves.

The king tides appear at that time, however, on December 13 – 14 (Wednesday through Friday). Upcoming Oregon Coast King Tides Includes More of Them, Photo Contest, Washington Dates

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Flooding at Neskowin this week / ODOT photo


Tillamook Bay / Tillamook County Sheriff's


Shore Acres at King Tides last year - Oregon King Tides / O. Donovan

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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Keywords: flooding, Oregon coast, Washington coast, weather, Coast Range, Willapa Hills, Shore Acres, high waves