Prepare for Widespread Heavy Rain Across Much of Oregon

Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management advises residents to be aware – and prepared – for potential hazards due to heavy rains forecasted this week across the state.

According to the National Weather Service, expected rainfall amounts from 5 p.m. tonight through Friday may cause potential flooding of creeks and rivers in northwest Oregon, especially along the coastal terrain and Cascades. Rain amounts may be high enough to cause flooding Thursday and Friday.

Heavy rain can trigger debris flows and landslides in steep terrain, and the risk is higher in wildfire burn areas. There is potential for debris flows in the burned areas of the Cascades, including the Riverside, Beachie Creek and Lionshead fire sites. Eagle Creek and Holiday Farm fire areas may also be potentially impacted.

The public can remain safe using basic preparedness actions, including staying informed, being aware of surroundings, having a plan for emergencies and being prepared with an emergency kit.

Stay informed

Drive with caution

  • Be aware of the latest road conditions before driving by checking
  • Be alert when driving; embankments along roadsides may fail, sending rock and debris onto the road.
  • Turn on lights, increase following distance and slow down.
  • Don’t drive through flood water; just 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, and a foot of rushing water can carry away most cars.

Heed flood watches and warnings

  • A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance: Be aware.
  • A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding to occur: Be prepared.
  • A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or already occurring: Take action.

Know the signs of landslides

  • Look for changes in landscape like leaning trees, land movement, or a trickle of falling mud or debris.
  • Pay attention if the water in streams or creeks suddenly turns muddy or the water flow suddenly decreases or increases.
  • Listen for unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together, that might indicate moving debris.