High Wind and Flood Watch for NW Oregon and
|Pizza Garden and its deck during nicer weather.
(Oregon Coast) - From Portland to Astoria, down to Newport
and back over to the mid-Willamette Valley and eastward, northwest Oregon
is in for some interesting times over the next few days.
Big rains, high winds and the likelihood of flooding are
set to hit the coast range and the Oregon coast, with authorities keeping
an especially watchful eye on rivers in northern Tillamook County. Coastal
residents are used to storms and floods, but some predictions from local
authorities have them spooked – almost.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the first storm
system will affect the southern Washington and north Oregon coast on Tuesday
night, resulting in increased winds through Wednesday. Gusts of up to
60 mph are possible on the headlands and beaches, while the towns may
see regular winds around 30 mph.
Those will increase again with another weather disturbance
as a cold front moves through on Wednesday, with stronger winds occurring
in the afternoon and evening. Sustained winds may be around 45 mph in
the towns and upwards of 60 mph on the beaches and headlands.
|The Pizza Garden building back in 2007 (photo Rachel Sip)
“A high wind watch means there is the potential for
a hazardous high wind event,” said the NWS.
Then there is the flooding possibility along the coast,
coast range mountains and even in the Portland and Willamette Valley.
A flood watch has been issued for the north and central
Oregon coast, as well as the coast range and the Portland area. For the
north coast, this is in effect from Tuesday through Friday, as heavy rain
and rising snow levels in the mountains compound already high river levels.
Much of this warning is for the area north of Tillamook, into southern
Washington, but the central coast is expected to get is share of seriously
|Big storm surges helped erode a cliff so badly it ruined part of
the highway near Newport.
The rivers of biggest concern are the Nehalem, Wilson,
Trask and Nestucca in the Tillamook County region, some of which also
pose problems in the coast range. The Siletz River on the central coast
is also a problem place, said the NWS. In southern Washington, authorities
are warning about the Willapa and Naselle. The Portland area and northern
part of Oregon are also of concern, including rivers such as the Willamette,
Johnson Creek, Luckiamute, Clackamas, Lewis and Tualatin, along with north
central Oregon rivers Pudding, Sandy and Hood river.
stream and urban flooding is also likely in some areas,” said the
Landslides and debris flows are also possibilities, which
have been a major problem in the Portland area recently. The NWS advises
those living in areas prone to flooding should take precautions in case
waters do rise to levels harmful to life or property.
“The cold front will move into the area Wednesday
night and push through the remaining part of the area Thursday morning,”
said the NWS.
|A road on the outskirts of Nehalem gets the full flood treatment
Five to ten inches of rain are expected in the coast range
mountains over that time, as well as in the Cascades, mostly north of
Mt. Jefferson. One to two inches may come to the valleys. The coast will
see about three to five inches of rain north of Tillamook, while the central
coast will likely get as much as three inches.
While the southern end of Seaside will again likely flood
in a big way, the Nehalem River is foremost on the minds of locals like
Phil Kaufman, who owns a pizza shop that sits right up against the river.
If Nehalem floods, it hits the area around his Pizza Garden first much
of the time, although his building was raised high after the big flood
Tillamook County sheriff officers have been handing out
upgrades from a flood watch to a flood warning in the area, but many residents
are weary after such warnings last week, when many in Nehalem set up huge
sandbag barricades and walls – and nothing happened.
Kaufman said there appears to be no such preparation this
time, although officials are predicting a worse flood scenario than the
one that didn’t happen last week.
|Storm surges practically knock at the back doors of vacation homes
in Lincoln City.
“No one’s taking it seriously this time,”
The paper warnings handed out to residents say the river
could crest around 27 feet, which is one foot higher than Kaufman’s
deck. That would bring flood waters into his pizza business.
Traffic up and down the coast may be impeded and slowed,
while to and from the coast should present no problems.
Highway 30 is an alternative route to Seaside and Astoria,
should that part of 101 just south of town become impassable for a while.
This usually clears up after a matter of hours, and it does not affect
traffic south of Seaside, towards Cannon Beach and Manzanita.
Nehalem, on 101, may become heavily flooded for a while,
but there is usually a detour route available around those spots.
Other trouble spots could be in Tillamook or in the
coast range on the way to the central coast, but there are also detours
available around those.
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