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Flood Watches for Oregon Coast / Washington; Wave Drama Likely

Published 12/18/20 at 5:35 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Flood Watches for Oregon Coast / Washington; Wave Drama Likely

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(Portland, Oregon) – The National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Portland and Seattle have issued flood watches for the Washington coastline and the upper half of the Oregon coast, in effect from Saturday through Sunday.

A set of major rain storms are poised to hit the Pacific Northwest and possibly cause flooding of small streams and rivers from Florence, Oregon all the way through to the Pacific shores of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Flood watches are issued for most of the western halves of each state as well.

There is also a high wind warning in effect from Saturday afternoon through the late evening, for the northern half of the Oregon coast and the southern half of the Washington coast. South winds 30 to 40 mph are expected, along with gusts up to 55 to 60 mph. Winds calm down on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the southern Oregon coast is looking at a fairly normal run of rainy weather, although like most of Oregon there will be some sizable wave action out there.

“Series of fronts will bring heavy rain across much of the area,” the NWS said in its news flash. “Excessive rainfall could lead to river flooding as well as flooding in small streams and urban areas. Rain across the Cascades could cause debris flows across burned areas.”

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The flood watch means there could be flooding based on the latest forecasts, and the NWS urges you to monitor further forecasts.

“Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop,” the NWS said. “Landslides and debris flows are possible during this flood event. People, structures, and roads located below steep slopes, in canyons, and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk from rapidly moving landslides.”

Caution may be required along the coastline highways and routes to and from the beaches as landslides could occur.

The flood watches also pertain to the Cascades, Willamette Valley, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, and the Oregon Coast Range.

There are no flood watches for the southern Oregon coast, but the entire region is looking at some decent wave action. Large swells offshore should make for dramatic displays at rocky areas like Cape Arago, Shore Acres, Brookings, Yachats, Depoe Bay, Ilwaco and Westport.

The NWS is talking about fairly steady 16 to 19-foot combined seas offshore in many areas along with gale force winds along the outer seas of the region. While winds will make beachgoing uncomfortable on Saturday,throughout the weekend period swells will not be heavy, likely generating a good show on rocky cliffs but not causing major beach hazards. See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather 

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