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Wind and rain coming to coast, flooding possible

A series of powerful storms are expected to dump large amounts of rain on Curry County.

The first storm, which will begin tonight, will bring rain and high winds, and will be followed by another storm Thursday.

A high wind warning from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Wednesday will bring gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.

By Saturday, Brookings should have received 6 to 7 inches of rain, with up to 10 inches falling in the mountains.

Ryan Sandler, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, compared the approaching storms to a storm that struck Brookings in November 2012, which caused flooding and stream and river levels to rise.

The rain will cause stream and river levels to rise, with flooding possible. The Chetco River is expected to rise from 4 to 14 feet by Friday night, with water volumes rising from 3,000 cubic feet per second to 24,0000 cfs.

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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The Curry Coastal Pilot
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Sunday September 25, 2016

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