Due to recent heavy rainfall, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flood Watch for the Central Willamette Valley through Friday, April 12. Localized flooding is expected throughout the week, which has already resulted in the closure of Hazelgreen Road NE between Brush Creek Road NE and Torvend Road NE due to high water.
The current forecasts for the Willamette River in Salem indicate that the river level is steadily rising from heavy rainfall. When river levels rise to 23 feet, a portion of River Road South floods and Marion County Public Works closes the high water gates located east of the Independence Bridge and south of Orville Road. Public Works is monitoring the river forecasts and anticipates river levels to rise above 23 feet between 11:00 p.m. tonight and 6:00 a.m. tomorrow, and is expected to remain closed through Friday night. Motorists should prepare for possible road closures and plan trips accordingly.
Road closures due to high water are enforced by Marion County Sheriff's Office, and drivers who fail to obey the signs are subject to citations. We ask drivers to please obey road closure signs and to turn around if they see high water over the road ahead. It takes just 12 inches of flowing water to carry a car and 6 inches of flowing water to knock over an adult.
Information about weather-related road closures is available on the Marion County Public Works website at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Roads/Pages/closures.aspx.
Marion County Public Works dispatch is available 24/7 to address further questions at (503) 588-5304.
For those who may be experiencing flooding, Marion County Public Works has also opened the sandbag station at Marion County Fire District Station #1. The fire station is located at 300 Cordon Road NE, and bags and the sand to fill them are free to the public, and tools are also on-hand. The sandbag station will be open and stocked throughout this week.
Finally, forecasts can change, so the county encourages motorists to monitor the forecast, which is available to the public via the NWS at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=pqr&gage=slmo3.