Weather, landslide alerts for today

Written by Charles Kocher, Pilot staff writer March 28, 2014 11:43 am

Storm front heads right at us.
Both storm warnings and landslide warnings have been issued today for Soutwestern Oregon.

The National Weather Service has issued the following alert for today and tonight:  Flood Potential Outlook for rapid rises on rivers and streams in the following counties in Oregon: Coos, Curry and Josephine.

A very wet system will move through the area Friday and Friday night bringing heavy rain to the coast and coastal mountains and moderate to heavy rain to some inland areas.

Total rainfall through Friday night will be as follows: 1 to 2 inches in Coos County...2 to 4 inches over the western Siskiyou County mountains...and 3 to 6 inches along the Curry Coast and adjacent mountains. The mountains of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Josephine County will also see 3 to 6 inches of rain.

Such heavy rainfall amounts over a relatively short duration will lead to rapid rises on area rivers...creeks and streams. There is also the potential for rock and mud slides in the mountains.

A flood potential outlook is issued when there is the potential for significant rises or flooding along rivers and streams.

Updates will be issued as conditions change.

The exact scenario for flooding remains uncertainty but there is the potential for flooding. Watches and warnings will be issued by the National Weather Service if this situation worsens. Find them at www.weather.gov/medford

 Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries says the heavy rain and high winds have the potential to cause landslides in the region:

Be alert to changing weather conditions throughout the weekend, and use extreme caution when travelling. Watch for signs of a landslide, which could include collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rock and debris. Listen for loud, unusual sounds. If you think there is danger of a landslide, leave the area immediately. 

People, structures and roads located below steep slopes in canyons and near the mouths of canyons may be at serious risk. The most dangerous places include: 
- Bases of steep hillsides. 
- Canyon bottoms, stream channels, and areas of rock and soil accumulation at the outlets of canyons. 
- Road cuts or other areas where slopes of hills have been excavated or over-steepened. 
- Places where slides or debris flows have occurred in the past. 

The Statewide Landslide Information Database (SLIDO) compiles Oregon landslides that have been identified on published maps. Oregonians can search for their addresses, or commonly traveled areas, at http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/slido/. 

Learn more about landslides and debris flows and how to prepare for them atwww.oregongeology.org/sub/Landslide/Landslidehome.htm.