|More rain for saturated Curry County coast|
|Written by Don Iler, Pilot staff writer|
|February 15, 2014 11:32 am|
Another two 2 to 3 inches of rain is forecast today (Feb. 15) as the latest in a week-long series of storms arrives, accompanied by high winds, with gusts of 35 to 45 mph on the coast and up to 60 mph along sections of Highway 199.
A flood watch is in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday for Curry County, as is a landslide warning.
Most areas of Curry County escaped major flooding and landslides Friday after nearly 7 inches of rain fell along the coast and 14 inches in the mountains during the last three days
On Friday, a landslide blocked Carpenterville Road between mileposts 343 and 357, closing the road. The Oregon Department of Transportation urged motorists to take another route.
Ryan Sandler, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a Pineapple Express is responsible for the wet weather. The Pineapple Express is an atmospheric river that brings moist tropical air from near Hawaii north to the Pacific Coast.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, the Chetco River bar was closed to all recreational vessels. As the weather improves, the bar will open again, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Don Kendall, Curry County emergency services coordinator, said there had been some localized flooding on Wednesday but the storm then was not as intense as expected. He urged people to not drive through standing water, and to turn around if they encounter it.
Gary Milliman, Brookings city manager, said there had been some flooding on Chetco Avenue between Lucky Lane and Fifth Street Wednesday. Public Works crews will be on call throughout the weekend and residents who see flooding can call police dispatch at 541-469-3118.
The city and the county both have sandbags available and many local businesses have them available for purchase.
On Friday, the Smith River reached action stage Friday, rising 9 feet to about 29 feet. Action stage is a term used by the National Weather Service to encourage people and officials to begin preparations for flooding.
Flood stage for the Smith River is 33 feet. The Chetco River is projected to reach 19.5 feet around 4 p.m. Saturday. Action stage for the Chetco is 18.5 feet. The Rogue River is predicted to reach action stage near Agness around midnight Saturday.
The heavy rains have caused rivers throughout Western Oregon to rise, with the Coquille, Mohawk, Marys and Willamette all above or projected to rise above action stage.
After a break on Sunday, the rain is expected to return next week, with temperatures dropping.