Few problems reported as rain returns to valley
Friday’s weather had nothing if not a sense of occasion: On the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm (also know as “The Big Blow), the first significant rainfall in more than 100 days fell in the mid-valley.
Richard Mattix, of Oregon State University’s crop and soils department, has gone out to the Hyslop Farm weather data station to record Corvallis’ rainfall most days since 1999.
With the exception of 0.32 of an inch on Sept. 23, the rain gauge mostly has been gathering dust for more than 100 days.
“There were about 10 drops in there this morning,” Mattix said. But at 8:30 a.m., the skies opened, and a light but steady rain began.
“I was missing the rain,” Mattix said. “Long about April, I’ll be sick of it again.
The rain’s return has been gentle so far. Although the unofficial high temperature Friday didn’t climb out of the 50s, it is forecast to be 68 today as a stronger Pacific storm moves in.
Mary Steckel, the director of public works for the city of Corvallis, said trucks and crews are on standby in case a downpour sends leaves into catch basins, flooding streets — a common annual event with the fall’s first rains.
Apart from some fender-benders possibly related to rain- and oil-slicked roads, police did not report any serious accidents Friday. However, rains on Highway 20 near the Santiam Pass are suspected in a serious accident that closed the highway for a time Friday afternoon. Details were not yet available Friday night.
Today is expected to bring a lull for the earlier part of the day, then winds and rain both are expected to pick up, intensifying on Sunday and into Monday.
“That’s what I”m looking forward to seeing,” Mattix said, “what’s accumulated in that gauge by Monday morning.”