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Flood and landslide warnings issued for Curry County

The National Weather Service is predicting 2-3 inches of rain for the Curry County Thursday night, with another five inches possible through Saturday evening.


The new rain is on top of the more than four inches Brookings has received since Tuesday night. A “Pineapple Express” is responsible for carrying the moist air from near Hawaii to the Northwest.

  

 


There is a flood advisory for Curry County, with the Chetco River predicted to reach action stage around 4 p.m. Friday. As of 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the Chetco was at almost 10 feet.


The state Department of Geology and Mine Industries has also issued a landslide and debris flow warning because of the flood warning. People should take caution in mountainous areas, canyon and river bottoms and places where slides have occurred in the past.


The county is monitoring the situation and ready to distribute sand bags as needed, said Don Kendall, Curry County emergency services coordinator. He said people should be aware that flash floods, ponding on roadways and earth movement could happen.


Gary Millman, Brookings city manager, said city public works crew members were cleaning drainage ditches and culverts throughout town. Debris clogging up storm drains and flooding streets and private property tends to be one of the biggest problems when a rainstorm strikes.

Brookings Police Department will monitor drainage during their patrols this week and will notify public works of problems. If citizens spot a problem, they can call Brookings Police Dispatch at 911 or 541-469-3118. Those in the county should call the Sheriff’s Office.

Milliman said the city has sandbags on hand to protect public and private property, which can be filled quickly by city employees and volunteers. Many local businesses also have sandbags available for purchase too.

The National Weather Service defines action stage as the level when people and officials should begin preparations for a flood.

While the storms will bring much needed rain to reservoirs further inland, the snow level is too high to drop any snow in the mountains. The rain and warm temperatures could melt what little snowpack there is in the Coast Range and Cascades, which could exacerbate drought conditions in the summer when snowmelt provides water for rivers. Sandler said the Rogue basin has only 28 percent of its normal snowpack and the Siskiyous have only 10 percent of normal snowpack.

Next week is also expected to bring wet weather, with more rainfall and colder temperatures.

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